Thankfully more and more people are learning about PCOS but there are still misconceptions surrounding PCOS that are keeping people from either realizing they have it or understanding how to live with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
Lets dive into the some facts about PCOS:
1. Weight loss with PCOS is difficult but not impossible
S'moo founder Karagan was struggling with PCOS and weight, weight that seemed to happen overnight when she started her menstrual cycle at 14. It's one of the most frustrating symptoms of PCOS and so many doctors tell women with PCOS that their symptoms will improve when they lose weight. Though very few women with PCOS understand how to lose their extra weight when traditional weight loss strategies aren't usually effective with PCOS because those traditional methods don't address the underlying hormonal disorder of PCOS.
S'moo Founder Karagan lost her PCOS weight by getting her hormones under control, counting calories and weight lifting. No one said it would be easy but she's been able to keep the weight off since she created S'moo to regulate her hormones. Not to mention she has been able to help other women do the same.
2. Menopause doesn't make PCOS go away.
You'd hope that going through menopause and having your body change to that extent would bring some good news. Menopause marks the end of your menstrual cycles and it's normally diagnosed after you've gone through 12 months without a menstrual period. It involves symptoms like hot flashes, less energy, it can disrupt your sleep and mess with your emotions. PCOS and menopause both affect the levels of progesterone in your blood, but they affect your hormones in different ways. Which is why menopause doesn't make PCOS go away.
3. Insulin is a major factor of PCOS.
The majority of people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have insulin resistance or high insulin. Insulin impacts our ovaries and causes them to produce too much testosterone. This can interfere with the development of the follicles (the sacs in the ovaries where eggs develop) and prevents normal ovulation. Too much testosterone also leads to a lot of the PCOS symptoms. Getting your insulin levels under control by changing the way you eat and what you eat can really help. Check out this blog on insulin resistance for more info.
4. Women with PCOS have stronger food cravings than people without this disorder.
Everyone, with or without PCOS, has experienced food cravings but women with PCOS tend to have more food cravings, they happen more often and they are more intense. This is because of high insulin levels that increase cravings because insulin is a growth hormone and appetite stimulant. It can be difficult to resist these cravings but it isn't impossible. Once you address your insulin levels and rebalance your hormones with products like S'moo, your cravings will be better and easier to manage.
5. You can get pregnant naturally with PCOS.
One of the main reasons women find out they have PCOS is because they are having difficulties getting pregnant, PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. It is common for doctors to mention that you can't conceive with PCOS which is often not true. Having PCOS doesn't mean you can't have a natural pregnancy. Once you get your hormones balanced and get your body ovulating again, you can get pregnant naturally.
6. PCOS causes body aches and fatigue.
Chronic inflammation often leaves women with PCOS feeling achey and fatigued.
"Chronic low-grade inflammation has emerged as a key contributor to the pathogenesis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). A dietary trigger such as glucose is capable of inciting oxidative stress and an inflammatory response from mononuclear cells (MNC) of women with PCOS, and this phenomenon is independent of obesity." Source
Things you can do to help regulate this are to supplement your diet with omega-3's to help reduce inflammation. As well as exercising, and other stress-reducing activities.
7. Women with PCOS have a greater risk of developing secondary health issues.
It's hard to think about our future health but it's important, especially if you're currently dealing with PCOS. Secondary health issues can arise later, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Though if you can get your PCOS under control by getting your hormones balanced and maintaining a healthy weight, you'll be healthier later in life.
8. A hysterectomy will NOT fix PCOS.
It seems logically to think PCOS is purely a gynecological problem, but it isn't and a hysterectomy will not solve PCOS. There are a few types of hysterectomies, one where they keep the ovaries and one where they take the ovaries out. A hysterectomy with the ovaries will result in a decline in hormone levels and cause you to reach menopause earlier. Women who also have their ovaries removed experience estrogen and progesterone loss. A hysterectomy can cause increased vaginal dryness, low sex drive, mood changes, insomnia, hot flashes, urinary incontinence and more.
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance and even after a hysterectomy your body will have elevated androgens (male sex hormones like testosterone). The adrenal glands also produce testosterone and the stress of not having your ovaries can make them produce more. Meaning after a hysterectomy many women are still suffering from acne, excess hair growth, hair loss and balding. You can read this interesting article from a gynecologist here.
9. There is no cure to PCOS but you can manage your symptoms.
If you're diagnosed with PCOS you will be able to rebalance your hormones and live with little to no symptoms but this takes time and learning your body and what it needs. Some days might be a little harder but don't give up. There are many things you can do to manage and improve your symptoms. What you eat, which supplements you take and your overall lifestyle choices will all impact your PCOS. These are all things we review in blogs here at The S'moo Co. because S'moo was created for PCOS and has been helping women all over the world. You can find communities of women who are going through similar difficulties like the Private S'moo Facebook Group full of women helping women.
10. You are beautiful and strong.
If you have PCOS, we know what you're going through and the struggles you're battling. It's important to remember to love yourself and to celebrate the small wins as well as the big ones. Somedays things might not work out as planned but you can get back up again and work towards your goals of living without PCOS symptoms keeping you down. You're strong and we love you for it.
Here are some other blogs about PCOS that you might find helpful.
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.