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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Common Myths about PCOS

This is another post that should have been written a lonnnnnng time ago. I am apart of many PCOS groups on SNS and read through forums on websites, and I see many misinformed women. It's heartbreaking. A lot of the things they are told come from their doctors. I'm not saying their doctor is whacked, but PCOS is different for each women. PCOS is a hormonal disorder. So, one lady could have one hormone that is not where it should be, and another can have all hormones out of whack. Everyone's treatment is going to be different!

So lets, get to the myths.

  • Myth #1: I had an ultrasound on my ovaries and there were no cysts, so I guess I don't have PCOS. 
WRONG. I remember going to get an ultrasound at my follow-up appointment, my doctor told I didn't have any cysts so I don't have PCOS. First, polycystic ovarian syndrome is misnamed. If I recall from an article I read forever ago, when the discovered it was noticed that women with cysts had imbalanced hormones. At the time, it's all they knew.
  • Myth #2: Because I have PCOS and I don't ovulate, I won't be able to have kids. 
This a yes and no, only because we cannot see the future. If you can determine which of your hormones are imbalanced and what treatments you can do to adjust those hormones, then the possibility of not having to use 'help' will grow smaller. It's all about knowing your body and knowing what you can do for your body. If after doing whatever you can to take care of your body and not seeing the results you want, you can always give fertility treatments a shot. Many women with PCOS have been able to conceive or had kids before finding out they had PCOS. Don't give up is the thing to keep in mind!
  • Myth #3: I'm on oral contraceptives and that will cure everything. 
There are many things wrong with this statement. First, the sad truth is: PCOS is incurable. It is only treatable. Things like birth control can either help your PCOS symptoms or worsen them. I have taken birth control, and I can say it has worsen my symptoms. Birth control is estrogen or estrogen/progesterone combo. If those aren't the hormones that are imbalanced for you, then birth control won't really do anything for you. On top of that, you won't ovulate while on birth control. I would do a lot of blood tests, etc. before resulting to birth control.

  • Myth #4: I was told that if I start taking Metformin, everything will be okay.
This is another yes and no one. If the hormone that produces insulin is low, then yes. However, only taking Metformin is not enough for your body. You should be eating healthier, exercising, hydrating, etc. Make sure that the insulin-producing hormone isn't the only hormone that you need to treat. For some, it is the only one. If it isn't, neglecting the other imbalanced hormones could prevent you from fully treating yourself and prevent you from seeing the your goals (i.e weightloss, pregnancy, overall health).

  • Myth #5: I only have PCOS because I'm overweight.
PCOS is not something you develop. You are born with it. Being overweight is a symptom of PCOS (especially if your insulin-producing hormone is low). Sadly, even if you drop those fifty pounds after being diagnosed with PCOS, you will still have PCOS. Loosing weight will lessen the symptoms of PCOS and is very beneficial for your overall health.

These are only the top five myths that I have personally seen. If I were to cover each and every one of the myths, I could right a very long book about it. If you ever come across something and you are not sure if it is true or not, do your research. If you are researching online, make sure to read legit sites (Wikipedia is not a trusted site, please avoid using it!)

What are some myths that you have encountered?
Feel free to discuss, comment, or ask in the comment section!

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