One in ten women lives with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a complex metabolic and endocrine disorder. Although the word cyst is present in the name, you do not need to have cysts to be diagnosed with PCOS.
Because PCOS has multiple types and doesn’t always present the same, it’s considered a syndrome. In 2003, the Rotterdam criteria was established. You must meet at least 2-out-of-3 criteria in order to be diagnosed with PCOS:
- Delayed ovulation or irregular menstrual cycles (anovulation).
- High androgen hormones.
- Polycystic ovaries on ultrasound.
The symptoms of PCOS can be quite diverse and can vary depending on what type of PCOS you have. Because these symptoms can be attributed to so many other causes, it is typical for PCOS to go undiagnosed, or even misdiagnosed, for some time.
Other possible symptoms of PCOS include:
- Delayed Ovulation
- Missed/Irregular Periods
- High Levels of Androgens (Male Sex Hormones)
- With increased androgens comes a host of potential symptoms, such as:
- Excess Hair Growth (Hirsutism)
- Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia)
- Hormonal Acne
- Polycystic Ovaries (Shown Via Ultrasound)
- Abdominal Weight Gain
- Increased BMI
- Insomnia/ Poor Sleep