In talks with Dr. Supriya Tiwari, M.D., Founder - fightpcosinitiative.in
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is an endocrine disorder that affects 1 in every 10 women. With this article, we have tried to answer the most common questions that women have, about PCOS.
Q: Are PCOS and PCOD the same?
A: Broadly speaking, YES! PCOS and PCOD are the same. But while PCOD is Polycystic Ovarian Disease where the patient has cysts in her ovaries but may or may not have any other symptoms, a patient of PCOS might present a group of symptoms such as facial hair, acne, weight gain etc. but might not actually have cysts in her ovaries.
Q: What causes PCOS?
A: PCOS is a lifestyle disease. For some women, it may be genetically predisposed, but sedentary, inactive, stressful lifestyle are the most common causes for the manifestation of these symptoms.
Q: What are the most common symptoms of PCOS?
A: The most common symptoms of PCOS are irregular periods, facial hair, acne, and weight gain.
Q: How to prevent PCOS?
A: Get moving. An active lifestyle, more plant-based nutrition, and less of processed foods is the way to go if you want to prevent yourself from getting PCOS.
Q: Can PCOS be cured permanently?
A: No. Currently, there is no permanent cure available in the medical sciences for PCOS. Symptoms can only be controlled temporarily with medications, but you can reverse a lot of your symptoms with lifestyle changes.
Q: What are the natural ways to cure PCOS?
A: Like I said, there is no cure for PCOS, not even in alternative medicine. Although many alternative therapies claim to have a cure, there is no scientific evidence-based study to back this up. Naturally, adopting a healthier lifestyle and eating more of plant-based food will definitely help you prevent future complications.
Q: Is taking contraceptives the only way to deal with PCOS?
A: Contraceptives can help only in regularizing your cycle, which can temporarily help with hormonal imbalance. But OCP doesn't cure the root cause of PCOS and certainly is not the only way to go about it.
Q: What if I miss taking the pill once or twice a month?
A: If you are talking about Oral Contraceptive Pills, then missing a pill more than once will reduce the efficacy of your treatment and could lead to irregular bleeding/spotting.
Q: Can PCOS come back?
A: Yes, indeed. Which is why sustainable lifestyle changes is the best way to go about it. Also, getting rid of the cysts doesn't mean you are treated. One can have PCOS without having cysts, too.
Q: Can PCOS cause infertility?
A: Yes, it can be one of the many complications of PCOS in the long run.
Q: How to regulate periods?
A: Medically, with the help of Oral Contraceptive Pills. Naturally, resistance training has shown to improve and regulate cycles.
Q: How is PCOS detected?
A: It can be detected by how you present to a doctor, by ultrasound scanning and by doing a hormonal assay.
Q: Is PCOS harmful?
A: If it isn’t controlled, PCOS can lead to health complications like diabetes, heart diseases, and even cancer. So yes, PCOS can be harmful.
Q: I exercise regularly and control my diet but still unable to lose weight. Any tips?
A: I’d recommend you to try resistance training or high-intensity interval training.
Q: Does PCOS affect breasts? Mine feel achy, lumpy, swollen, and itchy before my periods.
A: PCOS per say doesn't affect breasts. But, PCOS can worsen PMS, which is pre-menstrual symptoms, and that can cause heaviness and pain in the breasts.
Q: Does smoking worsen the condition?
A: Most definitely!
Q: How bad is the combination of PCOS and hypothyroidism?
A: PCOS and Hypothyroidism are two very different conditions. Having a combination of both isn't any worse than having both of them separately. It can make it slightly more difficult for you to lose weight, but it isn't impossible. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help a ton with both of those conditions.
Q: I have small blood clots randomly coming out while I pee. Is this related to PCOD or PCOS?
A: Blood clots are a common finding in PCOS but their presence only while peeing can indicate some other problems, too. You should see your OBGYN and not take it lightly.
Q: My PCOS has resurfaced post-pregnancy. My doc has prescribed me Diane 35 for 3 months. Do I also need to take Metformin to regulate my blood sugar levels?
A: It depends on your blood sugar levels. If you are pre-diabetic, Metformin will most definitely help.
Q: I had PCOS, but I lost weight. Now, I get regular periods but only for a day. How do I get a good flow?
A: Losing weight with PCOS is commendable but maintaining an active lifestyle after losing weight is equally important. Make sure you continue an active lifestyle and eat well. Apart from that, as long as your cycles are regular, you got nothing to worry about. Flow can vary from woman to woman.
Q: I got warts on my face. Could PCOS be causing them?
A: No. PCOS is not known to cause warts.
We hope these answers helped you understand PCOS a little better and cleared your doubts.