Do you have PCOS?

Shameema Manuel explains to us what Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome means after 8 years of experience living with the disorder.

I know as women we are faced with various health issues. However, there is a certain type of health issue that personally affects me called PCOS.

It is defined as a condition in women, characterized by irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. PCOS is a disorder of chronically abnormal ovarian function and hyperandrogenism (abnormally elevated androgen levels) which affects 5-10% of women within reproductive ages.

What this means is that women with PCOS do not ovulate, they do not release an egg every month and they are at significantly higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and endometrial cancer (the cancer of the uterus).

Did I mention that there currently is no cure for this disorder?

However, there are a number of treatments available which differs from woman to woman. The cause of PCOS is unknown.

The ovaries of women with the disease characteristically contain a large number of small cysts with one in 10 women suffering from this disorder.

Unfortunately, even with the tales of other women dealing with PCOS is woven throughout the internet; many doctors do not recognize this condition and sufferers often experience uphill battles for diagnosis and help.

My advice is going to your obstetrics/gynecologist as soon as you become of reproductive age or even before considering having children. Get tested early so that the best possible treatment can be discussed and arranged, and most importantly get a support system. It can be a life partner, a family member or even a close friend.

Do research on your diagnosis, ask as many questions as possible and remember surgery is not always the best option. Discuss surgery with your doctor and weigh all possible treatments first. Know that PCOS is not a disease that can be ignored. Start by living a healthy lifestyle and focus and keep believing in the end result. 

Tell us how you cope with PCOS in the comment box below.

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