5 common PCOS myths many men believe

There are many misconceptions about PCOS, especially among men who may not understand what it means.

Myths about women with PCOS [Richardsimpsontherapy]

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone imbalance in women where their ovaries produce excess androgen hormone.

PCOS can lead to missed periods, irregular cycles, unpredictable ovulation, acne, excess hair, obesity, thin hair, cysts on the ovaries, and infertility. The exact cause of PCOS is not clear, but genome-wide studies have identified some genes that may play a role in its development and predispose women to the disease.

A woman must meet two of three conditions for PCOS diagnosis: excess androgen, irregular menstruation, multiple follicles, or cystic ovaries.

Many men believe people with PCOS have ovarian cysts, which are sac-like cysts that appear on the ovaries. This is because of the name (polycystic ovary syndrome). However, this is not true; many other symptoms are used to diagnose the condition, and having ovarian cysts is one of the symptoms.

Many men think unhealthy lifestyles like overuse of birth control, overeating, or a lack of exercise cause PCOS. However, PCOS is an endocrine and metabolic disorder; it also has a genetic predisposition. The truth is that PCOS is usually caused by excess androgen, which is a male hormone that all women have, but those with PCOS have it more.

While lack of ovulation is a sign of PCOS and often part of its diagnosis, it doesn't mean women can't ovulate or can’t give birth to children when they have the disorder. For women with PCOS who experience infertility, there are many treatments available for improving ovulation and fertility, inevitably leading to childbirth.

Obesity can also be a symptom of PCOS, but it’s not only obese women who have PCOS; average women can also have the disease. However, research from Clinical Medical Insights: Reproductive Health found that between 38 and 88% of people with PCOS meet the criteria for overweight or obesity.

Not every woman with excess hair has PCOS. Hirsutism, or male-pattern hair growth, is a sign of PCOS. This usually causes hair on the chin, chest, and other parts of the body, but it can also be a symptom of another endocrine disorder or a gene common to a particular ethnicity, not PCOS.

It's important that women with PCOS are not stigmatised; rather, they should be cared for and treated well.

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