Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is birthed from the accumulation of follicles in the underdeveloped ovaries. It could be because of anovulation and is related to an increase in ovarian androgen production. It’s estimated 10% of women have a diagnosis of PCOS. It is unclear how many people in the whole population have PCOS because it usually goes undiagnosed. We recognize PCOS through several symptoms, and they vary from one woman to another. Knowing the signs is excellent because it makes you aware. This way, you can note when you notice some or all the symptoms and seek medical help. Below are some of the top signs of PCOS.
These symptoms may be noticeable right from the first period or develop and progress over time without treatment. However, most women only take note when they struggle to lose excess weight, or begin to consider fertility timing and their options, or struggle to start a family. These symptoms outlined below will give you a better idea of what to look for.
- Irregular Menstruation: When there’s a lack of ovulation, the uterine lining won’t shed every month. Therefore, women with PCOS will have less than eight periods in a year or sometimes none at all.
- Heavy Bleeding: Due to irregular menstruation, the uterine lining builds up for a long while. As a result, your period can be heavier than the normal.
- Excess Hair Growth: Another name for this is hirsutism and is common in women with PCOS. Over 70% of women with PCOS grow hair on their face, back, chest, belly, and other body parts.
- Weight gain: Although PCOS is not the only cause of weight gain, this is one of the top symptoms. Women with PCOS are usually overweight or suffer from obesity.
- Acne: The skin becomes even oilier than it typically is, which usually leads to a breakout. Some places where acne appears are the chest, upper back, face, and more.
- Baldness: Another symptom is thinning hair on your scalp. In severe cases, women can experience breakage, clumps of fall out which may lead to baldness.
- Darker Skin: Another symptom of PCOS is that dark skin patches begin to form in the groin, underneath the breast, and on the neck.
How To Test For PCOS?
Doctors usually rely on symptoms, physical exams, blood tests, and pelvic ultrasounds to determine if a woman has PCOS. Although it sounds simple, the process usually takes time and can be frustrating. The PCOS Biology Kit can help you understand your health from a set of targeted biomarkers and help you begin conversations with your doctor.