Some women can have pretty painful periods. Some women can miss their period consistently, even though they are not pregnant. It is all thanks to polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. If you are a teenager or an adult between the ages of 15-44, have a female relative in your family that has it, have obesity, you are more at risk for having PCOS. Any ethnicities and all types of race can have PCOS. You are also more at risk of developing cysts in your ovaries and might be unable or have trouble to bear children.

The most common symptoms of PCOS is of course having irregular periods and having more painful ones as well. Irregular periods can be having them more often before every 21 days of your cycle, or just having a few of them per year. Or you can stop having your period altogether.

Other symptoms can include: Getting more hair than average on your body where it shouldn’t be as much, like your face and other places where men grow more hair. More acne in unusual areas like your back and chest. Loss of hair or thin hair on your head. Having issues losing weight, skin pigmentation changes in different places on your body and more development of skin tags.

That doesn’t sound like fun to have at all! Why do some women have to go through this and others don’t? They can’t precisely pinpoint the primary cause of PCOS, but doctors think it’s a variety of factors like genetics, hormonal imbalance, and higher levels of insulin in the body.

When you suffer from PCOS, you have to be careful of other health problems that might develop because of PCOS. You can get diabetes, higher blood pressure, watch your cholesterol levels more closely because it can become a serious issue that could lead to things like heart disease and stroke. You can also suffer from sleep apnea, depression and anxiety, and endometrial cancer. You are at more risk when you age as well.

How do you know if you have PCOS? You need of course to go to the doctors to get several exams done. Your BMI will get checked along with your blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels and various hormone levels, and to see if you have any extra hair growth in unusual places for women. They will go over your medical history and family medical history as well.

What can be done to help treat PCOS? You don’t want it to interfere with your everyday life and not be able to live your life to the fullest right? Doing a few things like eating right and regularly exercising can help. Keeping your weight at a reasonable level will help with the symptoms of PCOS. Try not to drink or smoke as well to help keep other potential health issues away. You may need medication, depending on what type of condition your body is in. Being put on birth control might be necessary. You also might need to have surgery if the cysts in the ovaries begin to cause issues, this will be beneficial for your ovaries as they will function better as a result of the surgery.

Follow up appointments with your doctor is very important. Going to group therapy (or just one-on-one) is a good thing to do as well, it’s always good to hear stories from other women to find out how they have done something to combat PCOS and will give you hope and confidence.