A skipped period for a month may not pose as a big threat and could even be good news when you’re trying to have a baby, but the constant irregularities should alarm you. It is considered as one of the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS as it is more commonly called. One out of ten women is affected by this and about five million women in America suffer from it and it is a leading cause of female infertility and puts you at risk for endometrial cancer.
The exact cause of this disorder is still unknown to experts but there are factors in genetics that experts think play a role in this. High levels of androgens or ‘male hormones’ prevent ovulation during the menstrual cycle which also causes extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS. Increase levels of insulin can also be a factor.
Excessive hair growth, period irregularities, fatigue, weight change, thinning hair, and acne could be symptoms of this disorder. Have yourself checked to make sure- and to stop yourself from overthinking- that you do not suffer from PCOS. There isn’t definitive way to diagnose this disorder but your doctor might recommend these three:
- Pelvic Exam- A visual and manual inspection for masses, growth and other abnormalities in your reproductive organ
- Blood Tests- Considering that androgen and insulin are the known causes of this disorder; a blood test would measure the levels of these two hormones.
- Ultrasound- The appearance of your ovaries and the thickness of the lining of your uterus would help with the diagnosis of this disorder.
If you suffer from PCOS, you can work with a doctor to monitor your condition. Since insulin is a factor that causes this, diet and exercise along with therapy are recommended by physicians but there are also steps that you can do manage it yourself.
Five Ways to Manage PCOS on your own:
Watch Out For Those Carbs
You have to watch what you eat nowadays. White bread, white rice, candies, and pastries are a major no-no when you’re diagnosed with this disorder. Insulin resistance are the main problems of PCOS and eating those refined carbohydrates might lead you to even more trouble.
Put more whole grains, veggies and lean meat in your grocery cart and have them checked out right away so you wouldn’t radiate back to the bad carbohydrates aisle when doing grocery. It can be a bummer and quite sacrificial but it’s time to put your health first.
Stay Away From Stress
Stress is unavoidable and that’s perfectly understandable. But sometimes, when the alarms in your head begin to ring and the red light keeps flashing, stay down and let things be. You have to understand that some things aren’t worth the worry about especially when stress affects your health.
Chronic stress may be induced from any source, be it your job and your finances, your spouse or your kids that refuse to listen to you. This could affect your hormonal imbalance and also add a bit of weight on that midsection of yours too. Push past the stress and work your way through it.
Eat better, workout to relieve yourself from it and when you can’t handle it anymore, find someone to talk to, be it a friend, a family member or even a therapist. Avoid it as much as you can but please don’t stress yourself out thinking of ways to do so.
It’s Time To Work-Out
Here’s the thing with this disorder, exercise will no longer be deemed as something that you have to do just to acquire that Victoria Secret angel body but it has become a necessity. According to research, exercise is beneficial to those suffering from PCOS and could help with increase fertility and when you’re a woman trying to get yourself pregnant but suffering from this condition, then it’s time to hit the gym, lady.
If you’re not one to endure a grueling gym session, then try having a walk every morning or jog every day. Stretch it from 30 minutes to longer than that until your body adjusts itself with the workout. When your body adjusts, maybe it’s time to hit the gym or go boxing.
There are a lot of ways to sweat it out, you just have to choose what you think would be best for you and what you know you can do. You don’t have to schedule a grueling workout session and force yourself, there’s always yoga!
Medication Prescribed By Your Doctor
This isn’t exactly a home remedy but it does help. Your physician might recommend this:
- Combination of birth control pills. Because of the increase in your androgen hormones, your estrogen and progesterone levels need to spike up. With the regulation of your hormones, it also lowers your risk to endometrial cancer and correct abnormal bleeding.
- Progestin therapy. This medication is taken 10-14 days every one to two months to regulate your periods and protect you from endometrial cancer. It doesn’t do anything for your androgen levels but it also won’t prevent you from getting pregnant. Although if you’re avoiding pregnancy, you can use a progestin mini-pill or progestin-containing intrauterine device.
Find Yourself A Support Group
Your family will support you and your significant another sure will too, but nothing beats the support of women who know what you’re going through. You’re not the only one alone in this battle. There are others suffering the same conditions as you, with the same fears and worries plaguing them every day.
If you’re diagnosed with this condition, you don’t need to worry. For as long as you follow your doctor’s orders and don’t stress yourself too much about it and manage yourself well, you’re going to be alright.