Frustration, Confusion and Dread! These are some of the many reactions that PCOS and PCOD diagnosis gets from women all around the world. In India, 1 out of 5 women suffers from PCOS. While they all feel the extent of PCOS symptoms only 50% actually get diagnosed.
Not being able to tell what’s wrong with your body has got to be one of the most frustrating and scary states to be in. So, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here is all you need to know about recognising and dealing with PCOS!
What is PCOS?
Have you ever looked forward to the release of a new film or Tv show? We sure have! Now imagine that for some reason, the release date keeps getting postponed. Frustrating, right? This is exactly how women with PCOS feel.
So, how do you know if you have PCOS?
Every PCOS symptom that you answer with yes from the list given below is equal to one point. Keep adding points to reach your final score.
Do you have long intervals between each period?
Is your period flow heavy?
Do you gain weight easily?
Do you get acne and other skin-related problems during your period?
Do you have excessive hair growth on the face, chest, buttocks?
Do you suffer from anxiety during your period?
Do you have a lot of mood swings?
If your score is 5 or more then chances are that you might have PCOS and it is time to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis!
What’s the cause?
Unfortunately, even today, nearly a hundred years after its discovery, no definite PCOS causes have been identified. The existence of the condition is attributed to a variety of factors such as lifestyle, environment, hormones and genetic predisposition. As a result of this event, PCOS treatment is not properly codified. In most cases, it is treated as symptomatic management since there is no actual cure.
Further, the condition is often diagnosed very late since there is very little awareness about PCOS. “People often come to us to talk about PCOS symptomsand treatment,” says Mandira, an employee at a fertility policlinic in Delhi. “The two main reasons that they seekPCOS solutionsare fertility and weight gain. Either fertility issues stop a woman from having a child and so they get a check-up, or weight gain stops her from getting married and so they come to check that. Apart from that, they don’t go to the gynecologist regularly or even wonder why am I missing my periods?”
How do I manage PCOS?
PCOS management can be extremely frustrating and difficult. PCOS-related weight gain, for example, often appears as a vicious circle. Hormonal imbalance leads to weight gain, and weight gain leads to further hormonal imbalance. This sequence continues to repeat and can be broken only through stringent methods and discipline.
Thus if you’re wondering how to manage PCOS, we have put together a list of tips that you can try to ease your symptoms:
Follow a healthy diet
When you have PCOS, losing weight is quite the task due to a poor metabolism rate. In such a scenario, one of the most crucial things to do would be to follow a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. Cutting sugary, processed and junk food out of your life and replacing it with fresh vegetables and fruits would be the first step you can take towards building a PCOS-friendly lifestyle!
Leading a proactive lifestyle is one of the most important ways of dealing with PCOS. Consistently exercising not only regulates the hormonal levels in your body but also helps you maintain a healthy weight. Doing exercises like squats, push-ups and kegel for 20-30 mins every day can make you fit and increase your cardiovascular health as well. You could also try brisk walking, cycling or swimming to mix things up a little!
Practice Self Care and Mindfulness
Apart from the physical effects, PCOS also affects your mind. The spike in hormones can make you feel like your emotions are not in your control anymore. This can get very frustrating for some women. Meditating for 10 mins a day can help you regain your composure and also improve your mood tremendously.
While you can always follow corrective measures for symptomatic relief and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, we would strongly suggest visiting your doctor or nutritionist for a more detailed treatment plan to deal with PCOS.
Use the right pad
In most cases, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome causes heavy or delayed period flow as well. This can be very troubling due to the high volume of blood loss and can cause staining, leakage, a great amount of pain, and immense stress from having to manage with regular sanitary napkins. It is important, thus, that menstruators equip themselves with pads for heavy flow such as RIO which are longer, thicker, more absorbent and thus more capable of dealing with the higher period flow.
PCOS is totally manageable and while its causes are not known, you can always get help from the right sources and continue to educate yourself and others on the topic. Try asking your peers what helps them or tell us in the comments section below the tips that you swear by for dealing with PCOS. We would love to know!