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Polycystic ovarian syndrome (a.k.a PCOS) is a serious medical condition that affects many women around the world.
In this disorder, small cysts develop all over your ovaries (the reproductive organs that produce eggs), which causes hormonal imbalance by producing an abnormal amount of androgens (a.k.a the male sex hormones).
Read on to learn more about the symptoms of PCOS, and what you can do if you are showing a few or all of them.
#1 Irregular Period Cycle
Women do produce some androgens normally. But in PCOS, this hormonal balance is lost, and suddenly your body is flooded with male sex hormones, which prevents your body from ovulating on time and sometimes even stop ovulating completely.
So if you have less than 9 periods in a year, or are not menstruating for quite a few months, then you need to ask yourself two questions.
One: Am I pregnant?
If you are sexually active, this may be the reason behind the lack of menstruation.
Two: Am I malnourished?
Severe lack of nutrition can often cause menstrual irregularities, and sometimes stop them altogether.
But if you are not either (and are showing a few more symptoms mentioned on this page), then you need to schedule an appointment with a gynecologist immediately to know if you have polycystic ovaries.
#2 Excessive Hair Growth All Over Your Body
Men have a lot of hair over their body because of the male hormones they produce, especially testosterone.
That's why if you are suffering from PCOS, you will notice thick hair growth in unnatural places like your chest, belly, back, and face. This condition is called hirsutism. And women suffering from severe PCOS have been known to grow beards and mustaches too.
#3 Weight Gain
If you gain a lot of weight in a short span of time, it is most commonly because of overeating junk food and an unhealthy diet.
But if you are health-conscious individual and still show weight gain, then you need to get yourself medically checked.
This is because abnormal weight gain is a sign of many diseases, like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and Cushing's syndrome. But if you have irregular menses on top of weight gain, then your problem's root cause may be PCOS.
PCOS is caused by hormonal imbalance, which is similar to what happens during puberty when our reproductive system starts to mature into sexually capable organs. That's why we get severe acne during our teenage years, and the same when we have polycystic ovaries.
#5 Excessive Hair Fall
Men have a lot of hair fall because of the hormone testosterone. And since PCOS causes excessive androgens to circulate in a woman's body, it is the reason behind this symptom too.
#6 Deeper Voice
Like the above symptom, androgens are responsible for deepening the voice of women who suffer from PCOS, since these are the very hormones that crack a growing boy's voice when he hits puberty.
#7 Fertility Issues
One of the biggest signs you have PCOS is difficulty in conceiving a child (if this symptom is seen in conjunction with irregular menses and a few more of the above-mentioned symptoms).
In fact, PCOS increases the risk of developing gestational diabetes (that is, diabetes at the time of pregnancy) and causes complications during term and delivery.
If you are showing a few or all of these symptoms, please consult a gynecologist at the earliest to check whether you have PCOS or not.
And if you found this article useful, please share it with the women in your life so they can read it too.