COULD IT BE PCOS?
First it is the unexplained weight gain. Followed by an irregular and perhaps painful menstrual period. Then comes unusual facial hair. Many women start to become concerned and frustrated by the changes of their bodies. Finally, a trip to a medical specialist confirms that this is not “usual”. The diagnosis many times is only four letters long- PCOS .
PCOS patients are often relieved to have their symptoms finally given a label – Polycyctic Ovarian Syndrome. Although more common than many think, it often is a secret disease – one which is not often spoken about or known in the mainstream. However it may surprise our readers to find out that this endocrine disorder is the cause of infertility in up to ten percent of women.
Could you have PCOS?
There could be many reasons why a woman may have the symptoms described above. The only way to diagnose PCOS is via a complete medical evaluation conducted by specialists who have training in endocrinology. Women with suspected PCOS will undergo a variety of blood tests and if fertility is problematic a course of reproductive testing. Read about infertility testing here.
A chief complaint from patients, other than fertility difficulties, is weight gain. “Jane” was interviewed for this article and gave a poignant account of her experience with PCOS, which started when she gained more than 20 pounds over a short time span.
“ I kept gaining weight despite watching my calories and regular exercise. Then I noticed that my periods were much different and more painful. My regular doctor thought it was best to refer me to a specialist who then diagnosed me with PCOS.
Recently, I had cysts removed and now I am feeling a bit better. It is good to know that I wasn’t crazy and doing anything wrong!
My family has been really supportive which has helped me through this unexpected ordeal.”
Thankfully, there are many treatments for PCOS and options to help women experiencing fertility challenges. There also are support groups and even outlets where women seek to share their experiences and learn from others. This includes those who have taken to social media, including Pinterest . Moreover, RESOLVE, the national organization for infertility, offers many resources on their website., including support group listings based on region.
Here at HRC Pasadena, our acclaimed physicians, who include Dr. Kolb, Dr. Nelson and Dr. Wilcox, have treated scores of patients with PCOS. If you have any questions or concerns we want to help. Please connect.
about the author:
Louise Masin Sattler is a Psychologist and social media specialist. This blog, although sponsored, is a topic that Louise is passionate about- women’s health.