10 facts about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Did you know:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects 6% to 10% of women, making it the most common endocrine disorder in women of childbearing age.
- By age 40, 40% of women with PCOS will develop pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS at middle age is 6.8 times higher than that of the general female population.
- Women with PCOS can have monthly periods and still have PCOS.
- Despite its name, not all women with PCOS actually have cysts on their ovaries.
- The follicles typically seen in PCOS are actually the result of a hormonal imbalance, not the cause of the syndrome.
- Women with PCOS have higher rates of anxiety and depression than women without the syndrome.
- PCOS is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility however many women with PCOS are still able to conceive.
- Elevated insulin or insulin resistance are not part of the diagnostic criteria for PCOS but it is estimated that 50-70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. High insulin levels can increase the hormonal abnormalities associated with PCOS and insulin resistance if left unchecked can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- It is true that many women with PCOS are overweight or obese and obesity can make PCOS symptoms worse. However plenty of women with the disorder don’t show any signs of weight gain. PCOS is not one size fits all.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, but there are a wide range of treatment options that can help control the symptoms of PCOS. The first step may be to make lifestyle changes to improve the way your body uses insulin. Look into different nutritional options to find dietary changes that you can maintain. Swapping some simple carbs with complex carbs or reducing carbohydrate intake will help improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin which in turn will help regulate your hormones. Regular exercise is also an effective way to improve insulin levels in PCOS. Healthy eating and being active are very important to prevent long-term health concerns linked to PCOS, such as heart disease and diabetes.