There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding PCOS, which can lead to misunderstandings and stigma. Here are 10 myths about PCOS, along with explanations to debunk them:
1. Myth: PCOS is a rare condition.
Fact: PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting people with female reproductive systems. It is estimated to affect 1 in 10 individuals of childbearing age.
2. Myth: PCOS is solely a reproductive issue.
Fact: PCOS is not just about fertility. It can impact various systems in the body, including metabolism, cardiovascular health, and mental well-being.
3. Myth: All people with PCOS have cysts on their ovaries.
Fact: While the name "polycystic ovary syndrome" suggests the presence of cysts on the ovaries, not everyone with PCOS will have ovarian cysts. Diagnosis is based on a combination of symptoms, hormonal imbalances, and ultrasound findings.
4. Myth: PCOS only affects overweight individuals.
Fact: PCOS can affect individuals of all body sizes, including those who are underweight or have a healthy BMI. However, obesity can exacerbate some PCOS symptoms.
5. Myth: PCOS is always associated with irregular periods.
Fact: While irregular periods are a common symptom of PCOS, some individuals with PCOS may have regular menstrual cycles. Some may also have heavy flow. Diagnosis is not solely based on menstrual irregularities.
6. Myth: The only treatment for PCOS is birth control pills.
Fact: Birth control pills are commonly prescribed to regulate menstrual cycles and manage symptoms in some individuals with PCOS. However, treatment plans should be individualized and address the total symptom picture as well as the root cause.
7. Myth: PCOS only affects cisgender women.
Fact: PCOS can affect transgender men and non-binary individuals with female reproductive organs. It's essential to consider diverse gender identities when discussing and diagnosing PCOS.
8. Myth: All people with PCOS will have fertility problems.
Fact: While PCOS can make it more challenging for some individuals to conceive, not everyone with PCOS experiences fertility issues. Many people with PCOS can still have children with the right interventions and support. Timing is key.
9. Myth: PCOS can be cured.
Fact: PCOS is a lifelong condition, but its symptoms can be managed/healed effectively with the right treatments and lifestyle changes. Regular medical follow-up and ongoing self-care are essential for managing PCOS effectively.
It's crucial to dispel these myths about PCOS to improve understanding, reduce stigma, and ensure that individuals with PCOS receive appropriate care and support for their unique needs. If you suspect you have PCOS or have questions about your health let's chat.