What Is PCOS And 7 Ways To Help Manage It

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. Almost ten percent of women are estimated to have PCOS to some extent. The main symptoms include irregular periods, high levels of male hormones that can cause issues with excess body hair, or thinning, and enlarged ovaries that contain a number of fluid filled sacs. Millions of women are affected by this disorder during their reproductive years and it can cause fertility issues, but with treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant. However, many may not be aware that they have this condition. In this article, we explain what PCOS is and the 7 ways to help manage it. 

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a condition where the ovaries produce an excessive amount of male sex hormones called androgens. These hormones are usually found in small amounts in women. As a result, the ovaries will end up developing several tiny cysts or sacs filled with fluid. The ovaries will fail to release eggs which can lead to infertility. While this condition is incurable, an early diagnosis can help the patient control the symptoms and manage their fertility. The following are some of the measures you can consider to manage PCOS.

  • Maintain A Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the viable measures you can take to improve your condition once diagnosed with PCOS. Losing weight can help address the challenge of infertility and increase the effectiveness of the medications recommended by your doctor. Moderate activity and a low-calorie diet can help you shed some weight. 

You can also consider weight loss supplements to maintain a good weight. Ask your physician about the best weight-control program that can help your body reduce androgen and insulin levels to restore ovulation. 

  • Diagnosis

There is no definitive diagnosis that can be used to test PCOS. Your doctor can use different methods to determine if you have this condition. However, if you’re in the UK and experience symptoms of PCOS like acne, weight gain, unusual hair growth, and irregular periods, you can consider at-home PCOS tests in order to assess your condition before visiting a doctor and getting a professional opinion. There are different types of self-test kits you can get on the market. Do your homework to get the best, most affordable kit. 

  • Medication

Your doctor may recommend various types of medication to control your menstrual cycle. Different therapies can be used to manage the symptoms of PCOS. Birth control pills help regulate estrogen or decrease the production of androgen to lower the risk of endometrial cancer. They also help correct excess hair growth and abnormal bleeding. 

You can also use diverse formulas like testosterone-lowering drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, weight loss pills, and antidepressants. Your doctor can also recommend different types of medications.    

  • Reduce Carbohydrates Intake

Maintaining a healthy diet can go a long way in helping you manage the symptoms of PCOS. You should limit the consumption of refined carbohydrates including sugary and starchy foods since they cause insulin resistance. Instead, you can add high-fiber foods to your diet like fish, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory foods. These foods can help reduce the impact of sugar on your blood. 

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  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise helps reduce the sugar levels in your blood. If you have PCOS, daily activity can lower the effect of insulin resistance. It also helps you get your weight under control and prevent diabetes. These conditions affect your health which can worsen PCOS. Physical activity will improve overall circulation, and this will keep your ovaries clean and free of elements that can affect them.  

  • Work With Many Health Providers

It is crucial to work with your doctor and other healthcare providers to effectively manage PCOS. You should be open with your doctor and feel free to discuss your main priorities. Dealing with different care providers can enhance positive results. 

Healthcare professionals who can help you manage the condition include physiotherapists, dietitians, nurse practitioners to provide health education, and fertility specialists. It comes highly recommended to work with a gynecologist, fertility specialist, endocrinologist, psychologist/counselor, or dermatologist. 

  • Change Your Lifestyle

Once you have been diagnosed with PCOS, you should change your lifestyle and quit bad habits like smoking and drinking excessive alcohol. These habits are bad for your overall health and worsen the PCOS symptoms. Drinking lots of fluids and having enough rest can help you manage your condition.

PCOS  can lead to infertility, which can be devastating for a woman. But while the condition has no cure,  the good news is that with the right knowledge, you can manage the symptoms. You can achieve this by making lifestyle changes that include regular exercise, eating a good diet, quitting smoking, and reducing the level of stress. It is a good idea to work with several healthcare practitioners to help you manage the symptoms, and live a healthy life. We hope this information will be useful to you. Thank you for reading!