What Exactly is PCOS Anyways?

The ingredients or the symptoms that make up PCOS may vary from woman to woman. That is because there are many types of PCOS (trust me I was surprised to learn this too). Though let’s start with the basics. 

First, for those of you that may not know, PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is referred to as a syndrome and not a disease because it is not well defined. It is known for a group of symptoms that a patient is experiencing.

The name broken down looks like this: 

Poly = multiple

Cystic = follicles

So ovaries with multiple follicles. 

Though this is not the main symptom that is looked for in a woman with PCOS. There is a study that shows about 25 percent of women have polycystic ovaries and yet do not have PCOS.[1]

In fact, the average teenager may have as many as 25 follicles on each ovary! That sounds like a lot, I know. For young females with bodies trying to figure out these new functions, it takes time for their bodies to do what they should. 

Let’s take a look at the ground level symptoms. Most of the time, all will be present for the diagnoses. 

The first red flag symptom is irregular periods. Specifically ones that are late or with too many bleeding days. 

However this is a common symptom for other conditions. You may have a different condition if the other symptoms below are not present. 

The second red flag symptom that comes with this syndrome is excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism). You may even be experiencing hair loss, acne, and weight gain. 

These sound like male problems, the reason for that is women with PCOS may have elevated male hormones.

Good to note that there are other medical conditions that may be the reason for the elevated male hormones. It is the best practice to rule out those medical conditions before being diagnosed with PCOS. 

The last red flag symptom is anovulation or lack of ovulation. While this is something that happens occasionally for most women (and is seen as normal), it should not happen regularly. 

Anovulation is the main reason why women with PCOS have such a struggle with pregnancy. 

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? Are you currently experiencing any of these? If so talk to us about it in the comments below. 

Do you know someone else with similar symptoms? Share this with them so they discuss this with their physician. 

Lastly, if you have not been diagnosed with PCOS and think you might have it...read this. It will help you to know what to expect during your appointment. 

Knowledge Is Power, 



Leave a Comment