Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a disorder that is common amongst women of reproductive age. It presents itself through a wide range of symptoms that may or may not be present at the same time. However, to understand it better, let’s put forward the three characteristic features of PCOS: Cysts in ovaries, irregular or missed periods, and high levels of male hormones.
While the characteristic features remain the same, how they depict themselves in each individual is completely different. And not many people know that, which has led to the spread of several myths about the disease causing distress amongst women with PCOS.
So, let’s bust the 5 most common myths about PCOS!
Myth#1: You can’t ever get pregnant
When they say that PCOS is the leading cause of infertility, it is a bit misleading. Although it may cause problems with conceiving, having PCOS does not mean a goodbye to motherhood. In fact, the truth is that most women with PCOS can conceive on their own or with the help of fertility treatments.
Myth#2: PCOS is caused by eating chicken
So a popular myth amongst people including some doctors is that eating chicken leads to hormonal imbalance and PCOS. Many people believe that certain hormones are put inside our farm chickens, leading to hormonal imbalance in women. While that may be true in some cases, there aren’t a good number of researches present to prove that this is the reason behind PCOS. In fact, several researches have proved that there are no hormones used in poultry production.
Myth#3: PCOS = Obesity
Like many other stereotypes, PCOS women are stereotyped as ‘fat’. However, the truth is the opposite of that.
Even though most women with PCOS are overweight, a lot of lean women also suffer from PCOS. That being said, many times, overweight women with irregular periods are wrongly diagnosed with PCOS and lean women with irregular periods and high levels of androgens are overlooked.
Myth#4: Oral Contraceptives are the answer to irregular periods
Many gynecologists recommend oral contraceptives to regulate menstrual cycles. While it’s helpful for a short period of time, in the long run, it will bring you back to square 1.
Therefore, the best way to regulate menstrual cycles is by making major lifestyle changes. Say goodbye to processed foods, refined sugars and excess carbohydrates. Exercise regularly and incorporate methods to regulate stress levels.
Myth#5: Irregular menstrual cycle means PCOS
Since polycystic ovarian syndrome is so common amongst women these days, it’s a common misconception that missing a period or two means you have PCOS. While having irregular menstrual cycles is a characteristic feature of PCOS, there are several other factors that can play a role with irregular menstrual cycles.
For instance, stress, thyroid problems and high cortisol or inflammation levels can play with your periods too. Therefore, don’t assume and seek help from your gynecologist immediately!
Being diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome is pretty distressing. But when you start believing the myths mentioned above, recovering from it becomes even more difficult. So, stop believing what others are telling you and start making the much needed lifestyle changes. And remember, PCOS can be cured and you can always go back to being 100% healthy!
Guest Credits : Dr. Maleeha Syed