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Debunking PCOS myths

Published : Oct 08, 2021 11 mins read Updated On : Nov 30, 2022

PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a complicated hormonal disorder that affects one in five women of reproductive age. But did you know that not only women but people from the LGBTQIA+ community may also suffer from this condition? If this came as a surprise to you, brace yourself as we?ll debunk more of such myths around PCOS in this blog.

PCOS and its Symptoms

In this condition, the ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to release eggs regularly. Additionally, it causes an increase in the?number of male hormones - androgens and testosterone. Often, it makes the body insulin resistant, resulting in weight gain and an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

What are the Symptoms of PCOS?

Hormonal Imbalance:

Typically, when you have less than nine periods a year or a gap of more than 35 days between your last and next period, it is considered an irregularity. Additionally, you may want to get tested for PCOS if you experience lighter or heavier periods with abnormal pain in your lower back, pelvic area, etc. This condition is mainly a result of hormonal imbalance. So, regardless of your body type, if you see your menstrual cycle has gone haywire, you might want to book an appointment with your gynecologist.

Unwanted Acne:

It is common to break out before you are about to get your period. It is also called "cyclical breakouts." However, it is not normal to see acne that flares up frequently, especially post your teenage years. Acne has many causes; poor skincare routine, excessive use of retinol (vitamin A) or over-exfoliation, body heat, allergic food, etc. If you have ruled out all the other possibilities, it may be wise to check if you are experiencing hormonal acne. If you notice cystic acne that mainly appears around your chin and jawline, it could be a symptom of PCOS.

Hirsutism:

The human body has two kinds of hair ? ?vellus? and ?terminal?. Vellus is the soft, baby hair that covers the body. During puberty, the vellus hair turns into terminal, which is darker and thicker. Terminal hair is commonly found on the scalp, armpits, pubic region, etc. However, excessive terminal hair on the face, hands, legs, and thighs may indicate hirsutism.

Mood swings and irritability: It's normal to vent your emotions every once in a while. One cannot be in an absolute state of bliss at all times. However, if your mood swings are extreme and you struggle with irritability more often than usual, PCOS could be to blame. The first step is to introspect your emotions. If you think you are angry, irritated, insecure, or sluggish without a genuine reason, instead of questioning yourself and feeling guilty, seek help. Not many understand that hormones play a massive role in keeping our emotions in check. So, it is essential to eliminate the root cause for good mental health and wellbeing.

Skin Problems:

One can experience skin problems due to climatic conditions, food habits, poor hydration, etc. You will often see the market flooded with products for common skin problems such as dry skin, dark spots, pigmentation, wrinkles, etc. However, if you have tried topical products (both medicated and unmedicated) or even home remedies for the longest time, yet your skin health does not improve, you may want to get checked for PCOS. It predominantly causes stubborn dark patches, acne marks, and inflammation. Hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance reflect on the skin. Most dermatologists order blood tests to rule out PCOS before starting their treatment.

Sleep Problems:

The human body needs to be well rested, and sound sleep keeps you relaxed and refreshed. However, it is quite common to experience disrupted sleep once in a while. But if you frequently have sleep problems/apnea, you might want to rule out PCOS. It can leave you feeling very tired during the day, having difficulty falling asleep, and restless. Eventually, it results in irritability, lethargy, cloudy thinking, stress, and decreased productivity.

The reason why this condition is so prevalent is that it is not well understood. Myths can impact diagnosis and therapy, depriving women of healthy and comfortable living. So, let's debunk them, shall we?

Myths Around PCOS

Here are 12 prevalent PCOS myths and the facts to dispel them:

1) Myth: PCOS affects only women

Fact: Ashley Levinson, a renowned PCOS activist and advocate, said, ?I think many [people] in the LGBTQIA+ PCOS Community feel like they are separated from the PCOS community as a whole. There is a culture that says you must be female to have PCOS. We know that is simply not the case. There are those who do not identify as female even though they were assigned female at birth. There are men who have transitioned, and who carry over PCOS and PCOS symptoms. I know that may be an uncomfortable conversation for some but, it is a real aspect of life and our community.? So, it's about time we stop associating this condition with only women. It needs a more holistic approach to help all ?cysters? live a healthy, comfortable life.

2) Myth: PCOS means you have Polycystic Ovaries

Fact: You'd think you could figure out the ailment just by looking at the name, but that's not the case. For certain people, the term "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome" is a misnomer. You need to meet two out of the three criteria to be diagnosed with androgen excess, which causes hirsutism, acne and hair loss, irregular menstruation, and numerous follicles/cystic ovaries.

3) Myth: You will always have hair growing in places you don't necessarily want

Fact: Hirsutism, or abnormal hair growth in people/women, is a prevalent sign of PCOS; as a result of an overabundance of androgens. PCOS can cause unwanted hair to grow on the upper lip, chin, chest, etc. However, it is quite possible for you to have PCOS and not grow excessive hair in unwanted places. Always ensure you consider/talk to your OB-GYN about all other symptoms you experience to conclude you have PCOS.

4) Myth: If you have PCOS, you won't be able to conceive

Fact: PCOS adversely impacts fertility. The hormonal imbalance harms the ovaries' ability to release an egg that can be fertilized for pregnancy. You can still get pregnant naturally or with fertility medicines such as follicle-stimulating drugs. Don't be discouraged if someone tells you it's impossible to start a family if you have PCOS. Consulting a fertility specialist can assist you in achieving your goals. Managing PCOS symptoms in the early stage will also help in the future.

5) Myth: You have PCOS if your menstrual cycle is erratic

Fact: PCOS is one of many causes that might cause an irregular cycle. A normal cycle can last anywhere between 21 to 35 days. Consult your OB-GYN if your period lasts fewer than 22 days or more than 34 days. Breastfeeding, excessive dieting or overexercising, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, and thyroid issues are all possible causes of an out-of-whack cycle. Stress might also play a role. Your doctor can determine the likely cause through an examination and, if necessary, further testing.

6) Myth: You don't have to worry about PCOS if you don't want to get pregnant

Fact: PCOS doesn't just damage a person/woman's fertility; it can have a long-term influence on their overall health. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, and endometrial cancer have been associated with this condition.

7) Myth: Everyone who has PCOS struggles with weight loss

Fact: There's a popular misconception that you must be the stereotypical obese woman? ?the fat, bearded lady?. The problem is that, as a syndrome, PCOS affects people in a variety of ways. Obesity and overweight are more common. People from the LGBTQIA+/women with lean PCOS are uncommon, but they do exist. The dangers of using weight as a criterion are twofold: underweight/normal women may be misdiagnosed, and overweight women might unnecessarily be treated for PCOS.

8) Myth: An ultrasound is required for PCOS diagnosis

Fact: An ultrasound isn't required if you have PCOS because the existence of numerous follicles or cystic ovaries isn't a requirement. They may do so, especially if you're seeing an ob-gyn, but only if you don't match the criteria for hirsutism or irregular periods and PCOS is still suspected.

9) Myth: With PCOS, you can lose weight just like anyone else

Fact: It's true that shedding a bit of weight ? say, 7% ? can help control your menstrual cycle. But it isn't always simple. Many even exercises regularly and eat right, but they continue struggling with weight loss. That isn't to suggest they won't be able to lose weight; many people have been on successful weight-loss programs in the past. What is obvious, however, is that the notion that weight loss is just a matter of calorie intake vs calorie expenditure is oversimplified. We now understand that losing weight is more difficult.

10) You'll know if you have PCOS for sure

Fact: PCOS isn't always accompanied by symptoms. It's easy to attribute typical symptoms like acne, mood swings, and irregular periods to other factors, such as stress. One of the reasons PCOS is frequently overlooked is because of this. Undiagnosed PCOS affects between 50% to 70% of women.

11) Myth: If you have PCOS, you should take the birth control pill

Fact: Doctors frequently prescribe hormonal birth control to patients with PCOS menstrual irregularities. On the other hand, the treatment for PCOS will be primarily determined by your end aim. You will not use a birth control pill if you desire to get pregnant. Furthermore, the medication acts as a band-aid, masking the symptoms. Women are encouraged to take a more holistic approach to their hormonal health by lowering stress and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.

12) Myth: Having PCOS means you'll be miserable for the rest of your life

Fact: While there is no cure for PCOS, there are specific ways to manage your symptoms. You should never give up on the hope of feeling better. You may never be able to claim, "I've cured myself", but, you can definitely be in a healing process that brings your body back into balance at any time. This is possible with the right workout and diet. However, a diet alone will not provide the nutrients you need to manage PCOS. Thus, supplementation is also recommended.

Why are PCOS supplements important?

Today, many people are opting for natural supplements to manage their PCOS. Because there are no side effects and the results are long-lasting. So, how do supplements help?

Balance hormones:

You need to exercise regularly and eat healthily. In addition, you need to incorporate N-acetylcysteine, Vitamin C, Inositol, Vegan Vitamin D3, Vitamin B9 (Folate), Chromium, etc., in your daily diet. All of these ingredients are present in supplements in the proper doses. It helps in effectively balancing the hormones.

Regularise menstrual cycles:

Oxidative stress is one of the main reasons for menstrual disorders. The imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants impacts the period cycle significantly. It can result from smoking, psychological stress, pollution, unhealthy eating, a sedentary lifestyle, etc. Supplements help reverse the effects of oxidative stress and regularise your periods, making them less painful.

Improve fertility:

It is a known fact that PCOS impacts fertility. As mentioned above, there is a misconception that people with PCOS cannot get pregnant; they certainly can. But they need better health management to conceive and enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Supplements help lower androgens and testosterone and improve the egg's quality. As a result, fertility improves, and women can conceive faster with little to no medical intervention.

Improve skin health:

PCOS is the underlying cause of many skin problems. So, to achieve good skin health, it is important to manage PCOS. For instance, in insulin-resistant PCOS, the increase in insulin levels causes velvety dark patches on the underarms, groins, elbows, knees, etc. As a result, the patches become visibly lighter, and your skin health improves significantly with regular consumption. Supplements can help lower insulin levels.

Chicnutrix Cysterhood NAC and Cysterhood Inositol are supplements that help in managing PCOS. It also effectively functions as an effective PCOS weight loss supplement.

Chicnutrix Cysterhood NAC is manufactured using Swiss Effervescent Technology and prepared with clinically tested components, 600 mg of N-acetylcysteine, and Vitamin C, resulting in a well-balanced mix that supports hormone health from the inside out. It regulates the menstrual cycle, reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, helps ovulation, and improves reproductive health. It comes in a delicious strawberry flavour.

Cysterhood Inositol comprises a proprietary blend of scientifically proven ratios of Myo-inositol to D-chiro-inositol (Caronositol?) in a 3.6:1 ratio,Vegan Vitamin D3, Vitamin B9 (Folate), and Chromium It aids in the reduction of high insulin levels, which reduces insulin resistance, as well as the modulation of ovulatory cycles. As a result, it helps with fertility, inflammation reduction, and hormone balancing. It aids in the prevention of Vitamin D3 deficiency as well as the weight management associated with PCOS. The 3.6:1 MI: DCI ratio has been demonstrated to increase pregnancy rates by 65.5 per cent. It comes in a tasty raspberry flavour.

Both these supplements are made with clinically-proven ingredients, are vegan and gluten-free, and have received doctor's approval. It is gentle on the stomach and pleasant in taste too.

So, are you ready to join the Cysterhood Tribe and become #StrongerThanPCOS?

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