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9 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About PCOS

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common condition in women, caused due to hormonal imbalance. It is a problem where female sex hormones are out of balance. Sedentary lifestyle and improper dietary habits are the two main culprits which pave a way towards PCOS. It affects approximately 6% to 11% women of the reproductive age group of 13 to 47 years.

Sometimes symptoms of PCOS begins with the first menses (menarche) in young girls. PCOS is called a syndrome because the symptoms and its intensity differ from patient to patient. It often causes irregular or delayed periods and therefore creates a problem for the women in conceiving. If not treated on time it can cause type-2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and risk of developing heart disease. Women with PCOS also generally have increased amounts of male hormones such as androgen and testosterone, which may result in the evident physical features like excessive facial hair, or male pattern baldness. You need to consult a doctor immediately if you have these symptoms.


1. Irregular or delayed periods

Irregular Menstrual Cycles
photo courtesy: Inlife Healthcare
This is one of the most common problems in PCOS. There could either be a failure to menstruate completely for a prolonged period of five months and even beyond) or have slight spotting irregularly.

2. Sudden weight gain

sudden weight gain
photo courtesy: Pinterest
You have to be extra cautious with your weight if diagnosed with PCOS. If you’re overweight or obese try shedding those extra kilos. Losing even 10-15% of your body weight can significantly improve the condition.

3. Acne on face and neck

acne on face and neck
photo courtesy: Health24x7
You may have to go through severe acne on your face and neck. But thankfully, there are various ointments and creams available to get rid of most of the acne and dark spots.

4. Unwanted facial hair also called Hirsutism

unwanted facial hair PCOS
photo courtesy: Pinterest
It is a condition caused due to elevated levels of male hormones androgen and testosterone which stimulates the hair follicles where unwanted hair in excess, appears on the chin, upper lip, sideburns region, inner thighs and legs.

5. Darkened skin patches on the back of the neck

dark patches behind neck insulin PCOS
photo courtesy: LifeandHealth
High levels of insulin can cause the darkening of the skin.

6. Excessive hair growth on body

excessive body hair PCOS
photo courtesy: Twitter
Another common feature in PCOS. Various laser treatments and cosmetic surgeries are available nowadays for the removal of these unwanted hairs.

7. Thinning hair on the head

hair thinning due to PCOS
photo courtesy: Hairemedy
During PCOS women also complain of hair fall and male-pattern baldness known as androgenic alopecia.

8. Problem in getting pregnant/Infertility

problem getting pregnant PCOS
photo courtesy: Huffpost
Women with PCOS experience difficulty in conceiving. Managing weight, changing lifestyle and diet can significantly help in improving the condition. Do visit a gynaecologist for proper treatment as early as possible.

9. Polycystic ovaries

polycystic ovary PCOS
photo courtesy: knowingyourbody
Ovaries become enlarged due to the presence of numerous fluid filled cysts.

Although treatment of PCOS takes time, one must not lose hope. Changing lifestyle and managing proper weight according to BMI (Body Mass Index) along with proper medication is recommended, which accelerates the process of treatment. You need to see a doctor if you think you have PCOS and can relate to any of these symptoms. Always remember- Prevention is better than cure!

Written by
Taiyaba Sarvar

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