How would I know if I suffer from PCOS?
This is something every woman should ask her doctor.
Knowing PCOS (PCOD) is very important in today’s times. It is found that about 30% of Indian women suffer from PCOS. Out of this, a huge percentage forms the urban women. A good majority of the city dwellers are teenagers who suffer from PCOS due to their irresponsible high calorie, high carbohydrate diet and a lethargic, sedentary life.
It’s a hard hitting reality that many of our female counterparts suffer from PCOS from their early teens and fail to get it diagnosed. So it becomes an imperative for us women to make sure that we are really free from this curse called Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Here are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself:
- Are my periods regular?
Irregular periods is that hard hitting blow no woman wants to suffer. An occasional change in the menstrual cycle may occur due to hormonal changes, changes in the level of activity, weather conditions or stress. But, chronic and regularly irregular periods should be brought in to medical attention.
- Do I have excessive hair growth (hirsutism)?
Hirsutism often indicates a hormonal problem. It can also occur due to medications. If you have excessive hair growth on the face and neck, you might want to get it diagnosed.
- Do I put on weight which is hard to lose?
Weight gain is a natural phenomenon. However, if you find yourself putting on weight which is adamant when you haven’t introduced any drastic change to your diet, time to wake up. PCOS brings on Insulin Resistance and prevents weight loss. You should then get your thyroid and blood sugar levels tested.
It is a wrong assumption that all those with PCOS are overweight. To your surprise you would know that there is also another type of PCOS, the Lean PCOS (the thin PCOS) wherein you don’t even notice weight gain!
- Do I have a dark ring around the neck?
Often we find one or two people around us with a discoloration of skin in the neck. This is very commonly seen in people who are overweight. Experts maintain that this is a top sign of metabolic syndrome which is in turn linked to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but is not capable of using it. This shows up on the body as dark patches (known as acanthosis nigricans). Remember, Insulin resistance is a major risk factor for diabetes.
- Do I have severe acne from the time I remember to look myself up in the mirror?
Acne and hormones are old time buddies. Acne and extreme emotional stress along with any of the other signs should be looked in to seriously.
- Do I feel chronically depressed and anxious?
For some of us, anxiety and depression are an inseparable part of us. Women may find themselves more prone to emotional upheavals due to the hormonal jugglery that happens inside them every month. However, when it comes to a point where our emotional ill health disturbs our day to day activities and thwart our happiness we need to take control.
- Is my conception delayed due to PCOS?
Delayed conception does need evaluation by a Fertility Specialist. Some women with PCOS are lean that camouflages their condition and fail to conceive. Some others do conceive but undergoes painful miscarriages. So getting the right diagnosis would help you enjoy motherhood at the earliest.
What are the tests I need to undergo to rule out PCOS?
There is no single and definite test to diagnose PCOS.
By ill luck, if you feel that you may be suffering from PCOS, you need to consult a Gynaecologist. The chances are that you are not! Your gynecologist would do a physical examination and recommend certain diagnostic tests: an Ultra Sound of your pelvis to see if the ovaries are enlarged and have small cysts, your insulin and glucose levels, your cholesterol levels and certain hormone levels.
Do you suffer from any of the signs mentioned in the post?