As we all know too well, PCOS affects 1 in 10 women worldwide. It is one of the most misdiagnosed endocrine diseases of our age. Here are some PCOS facts that you either knew or didn’t know about.
Either way these will give you some ammo when you go in to talk to your doctor. These are all sourced through the PCOS Foundation, Medscape, and WomensHealth.
Six PCOS Facts
1. Women with PCOS reach their reproductive peak later.
The reproductive age is usually between the ages of 32-40. Many doctors think it’s because the body is going through another hormonal change, i.e menopause.
2. PCOS Can Cause Significant Hair Loss
PCOS can cause significant hair thinning and hair loss. The term for this is androgenetic alopecia or female pattern hair loss. It’s caused by the conversion of testosterone to a strong hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the skin which *shrinks* the hair follicles. In women, DHT can cause hair thinning either all over the head (diffuse) or hair loss in specific patterns. It commonly begins at the front with a noticeable widening at the part. Often the very edge of the hairline is preserved with thinning just behind. In some women there is receeding of the corners of the hairline as you would see in males with hair loss. *Source* Medscape
3. PCOS Can Cause Hirsutism
The levels of high testosterone and other androgens causes unwanted body hair. The hair can grow on the face, back, chest, nipples, and abdomen. It is a very frustrating, time consuming and expensive problem. Many women, shave, wax, or choose electrolysis to help control the hair growth.
4. PCOS IS a Genetic Condition
More and more genes are being identified showing that PCOS is carried through families. They have even been found in male genes.
5. Many Women with Moderate to Severe Acne have PCOS
Many of these women go undiagnosed because of this. Regular acne treatment will not work unless the PCOS is worked on first.
6. Women with PCOS have Insulin Resistance which disrupts healthy metabolism
High Testosterone and other androgens cause an almost irreversible hormonal imbalance. Some women with PCOS actually have many symptoms of those with diabetes. PCOS can also lead to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. All part of the endocrine system of our bodies.