How Do I Know If I Have PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. It is a condition where the female sex hormones estrogen and proestrogen are out of balance. Women with PCOS produce an excess amount of androgens.
Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome usually become apparent in your late teens or early twenties. Although it is so common, it still goes undiagnosed. A large population of women are unaware of the condition, if they have it and the risks associated with it (if it is not treated).
Not all women with PCOS will have all of the symptoms, and each symptom can vary from mild to severe. Many women only experience menstrual problems and/or are unable to conceive. There is no cure for PCOS, you can only manage the symptoms.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
- irregular periods or no periods at all
- difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
- excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
- weight gain and/or trouble losing weight
- thinning hair and hair loss from the head
- oily skin or acne
- Dark patches of skin on the back of your neck and other areas, called acanthosis nigricans (a-can-tho-sis ni-gri-cans)
Having polycystic ovary syndrome may make the following conditions more likely:
- Sleep apnea
- Depression and anxiety
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer), caused by exposure to continuous high levels of estrogen
- Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of signs and symptoms that indicate a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation
The 4 PCOS Tests
While PCOS is such a common condition, it is however, a little difficult to diagnose and get a correct diagnosis.
In the video above I discuss the 4 tests that you need to do to find out if you have PCOS. Once you have correctly been diagnosed with PCOS, you will only then be able to undertake the correct treatment approach for your PCOS.
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