Around 5-10% of women of childbearing age have challenges with PCOS. PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
A common problem for women with PCOS is that you do not ovulate, which means irregular or missed periods, which is usually the reason why you start to suspect that you have PCOS. It is important to know that missed or irregular ovulation/menstruation can also be due to other things than PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS
A common indication for PCOS (but not a must) is that you have elevated levels of androgens (male sex hormones such as testosterone and Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA). Another common indication of PCOS is having immature follicles (cysts) on the ovaries, but cysts are not a requirement for diagnosis as they can come and go, as well as irregular/absent ovulation.
Other symptoms of PCOS include: acne, insulin resistance (blood sugar problems), obesity around the waist, fatigue, depression and anxiety, mood swings, decreased sex drive, difficulty conceiving and sleep problems. High androgens can also manifest in physical symptoms such as hair growth in a male pattern on the chin, upper lip or chest, or hair loss in male-like patterns (for example, at the nape of the neck or on the middle of the head).
To be diagnosed with PCOS, you must meet two of three criteria:
– elevated androgens
– cysts on the ovaries
- absent/irregular ovulation/menstruation
Causes of PCOS
The causes of PCOS may include insulin resistance, high levels of insulin due to high sugar intake, nutritional deficiencies and/or stress, and certain hereditary factors.
Can I influence PCOS through lifestyle?
The powerful thing we want to send to you who have or suspect that you have PCOS is that it really is possible to influence PCOS positively to a large extent, which we have seen many women in the community do. Read our book to learn about lifestyle tips and our nutritional philosophy. You can also share Emelie, a girl in the community's journey to balancing PCOS through lifestyle .