Myths About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Busted

Posted on January 28, 2022 ·

BY Shruti

Medically Reviewed

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There are plenty of myths you can find online about PCOS. But we are here to bust those myths and help you stay informed and make better decisions for yourself.

Just like thyroid or diabetes, PCOS is a real condition too. And it is not simply an outcome of you being overweight or lazy —  and is definitely not your fault. While it is easy to say that by just doing yoga, waking up early or following natural remedies will help ‘cure’ PCOS – only those who have PCOS know what a challenge it can be — both physically and mentally. 

With or without PCOS – when you separate fact from fact from myth, you empower yourself to make better decisions! Here are some myths about PCOS – busted:

[woodmart_title align=”left” tag=”span” woodmart_css_id=”6213070cc4159″ title=”Myth #1: PCOS cannot be reversed” title_font_size=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zaXplIiwiY3NzX2FyZ3MiOnsiZm9udC1zaXplIjpbIiAud29vZG1hcnQtdGl0bGUtY29udGFpbmVyIl19LCJzZWxlY3Rvcl9pZCI6IjYyMTMwNzBjYzQxNTkiLCJkYXRhIjp7ImRlc2t0b3AiOiIyNXB4IiwibW9iaWxlIjoiMzBweCJ9fQ==” responsive_spacing=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zcGFjaW5nIiwic2VsZWN0b3JfaWQiOiI2MjEzMDcwY2M0MTU5Iiwic2hvcnRjb2RlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfdGl0bGUiLCJkYXRhIjp7InRhYmxldCI6e30sIm1vYmlsZSI6e319fQ==”]

PCOS has no cure, but it can be reversed with lifestyle changes and in some cases medications. This means that you can regularise your periods, lose weight, reduce acne and hair loss and be able to conceive. However, most people think that they are already following a healthy lifestyle or think that a general weight loss diet is enough for reversing PCOS. Your treatment needs to be personalised according to your symptoms and medical history and this can be done with the guidance of a medical professional. Like any other chronic condition – PCOS requires medical care too. Working closely with your doctor is an important part of managing PCOS and to avoid any future complications.

[woodmart_title size=”small” align=”left” tag=”span” woodmart_css_id=”621307194d27d” title=”Myth #2: One-size-fits-all plan is enough for PCOS” title_font_size=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zaXplIiwiY3NzX2FyZ3MiOnsiZm9udC1zaXplIjpbIiAud29vZG1hcnQtdGl0bGUtY29udGFpbmVyIl19LCJzZWxlY3Rvcl9pZCI6IjYyMTMwNzE5NGQyN2QiLCJkYXRhIjp7ImRlc2t0b3AiOiIyNXB4IiwibW9iaWxlIjoiMzBweCJ9fQ==” responsive_spacing=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zcGFjaW5nIiwic2VsZWN0b3JfaWQiOiI2MjEzMDcxOTRkMjdkIiwic2hvcnRjb2RlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfdGl0bGUiLCJkYXRhIjp7InRhYmxldCI6e30sIm1vYmlsZSI6e319fQ==”]

PCOS is a complex condition which can present itself in multiple ways. In fact, given how vast the symptoms are, you don’t need to necessarily have to have all of them to be diagnosed. So not every woman with PCOS will have the same symptoms and will be individual in her experience. Sometimes symptoms can also change during the course of a woman’s life. So PCOS needs to be treated symptomatically and there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment. Based on your symptoms, medical history and lifestyle factors – your doctor will help build a treatment plan that will work for you.

[woodmart_title align=”left” woodmart_css_id=”6213095555e6b” title=”Myth #3: You cannot get pregnant if you have PCOS” title_font_size=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zaXplIiwiY3NzX2FyZ3MiOnsiZm9udC1zaXplIjpbIiAud29vZG1hcnQtdGl0bGUtY29udGFpbmVyIl19LCJzZWxlY3Rvcl9pZCI6IjYyMTMwOTU1NTVlNmIiLCJkYXRhIjp7ImRlc2t0b3AiOiIyNXB4In19″ responsive_spacing=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zcGFjaW5nIiwic2VsZWN0b3JfaWQiOiI2MjEzMDk1NTU1ZTZiIiwic2hvcnRjb2RlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfdGl0bGUiLCJkYXRhIjp7InRhYmxldCI6e30sIm1vYmlsZSI6e319fQ==” woodmart_empty_space=””]

Having PCOS does not make you infertile, but it can be difficult to get pregnant. Around 70% of women with PCOS do face some difficulties getting pregnant. However, women with PCOS can successfully conceive by making lifestyle changes and sometimes taking medication. Although there is no specific timeline as to when you should start trying to get pregnant — the recommendation is to first manage PCOS symptoms and consider planning to start a family early. By doing so, you minimise the age-related risk of infertility (around the age of 35), get some room to explore different fertility treatment options, and also make lifestyle modifications.

[woodmart_title align=”left” woodmart_css_id=”6213094f86d4c” title=”Myth #4: PCOS affects only overweight women” title_font_size=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zaXplIiwiY3NzX2FyZ3MiOnsiZm9udC1zaXplIjpbIiAud29vZG1hcnQtdGl0bGUtY29udGFpbmVyIl19LCJzZWxlY3Rvcl9pZCI6IjYyMTMwOTRmODZkNGMiLCJkYXRhIjp7ImRlc2t0b3AiOiIyNXB4In19″ responsive_spacing=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zcGFjaW5nIiwic2VsZWN0b3JfaWQiOiI2MjEzMDk0Zjg2ZDRjIiwic2hvcnRjb2RlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfdGl0bGUiLCJkYXRhIjp7InRhYmxldCI6e30sIm1vYmlsZSI6e319fQ==” woodmart_empty_space=””]

PCOS sees no boundaries when it comes to your weight. While the association between obesity and the development of PCOS is strong, not every woman who has PCOS is obese. Some women who fall under the healthy body mass index (BMI less than 25) can also have PCOS. This is called lean PCOS and often goes undiagnosed for years until they experience irregular periods or difficulty in conceiving. So if you are showing signs of irregular periods, acne, excess hair growth or trouble conceiving despite maintaining a healthy weight, consult a doctor to get a formal diagnosis.

[woodmart_title size=”small” align=”left” tag=”span” woodmart_css_id=”621307ae47387″ title=”Myth #5: Fad diets work for PCOS” title_font_size=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zaXplIiwiY3NzX2FyZ3MiOnsiZm9udC1zaXplIjpbIiAud29vZG1hcnQtdGl0bGUtY29udGFpbmVyIl19LCJzZWxlY3Rvcl9pZCI6IjYyMTMwN2FlNDczODciLCJkYXRhIjp7ImRlc2t0b3AiOiIyNXB4IiwibW9iaWxlIjoiMzBweCJ9fQ==” responsive_spacing=”eyJwYXJhbV90eXBlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfcmVzcG9uc2l2ZV9zcGFjaW5nIiwic2VsZWN0b3JfaWQiOiI2MjEzMDdhZTQ3Mzg3Iiwic2hvcnRjb2RlIjoid29vZG1hcnRfdGl0bGUiLCJkYXRhIjp7InRhYmxldCI6e30sIm1vYmlsZSI6e319fQ==”]

There are plenty of fad diets online – keto, atkins, intermittent fasting; you name it. Usually people follow these diets to lose weight. And since many women with PCOS do struggle to lose weight, fad diets might seem like a good option. However, fad diets only offer short term solutions. Although you might lose some weight initially, you not only end up gaining back the weight after you get back to your normal diet but its also not sustainable. Instead, focus on developing small and attainable habits such as switching to whole foods instead of processed foods or finding healthier alternatives to sugary foods. You don’t need to cut down on a food group or crash diet to see results. When you see diet as a way to improve your overall health instead of just weight loss, you automatically develop behaviours that support a healthy lifestyle.

Living with PCOS can feel isolating and stressful at times but the first step is to create awareness and empower women to make the right step. Often we are so focused on the end goal that we forget to acknowledge the progress that we are making daily. You’ve given your best everyday and you’ve come far — so be proud of yourself because there is nothing stopping you from reversing PCOS for life.

Disclaimer: Content on Veera is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, or as a substitute for medical advice given by a physician

[author_area image="1163" author_name="Dr Iris Lee"][/author_area]

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