Menstruation is a natural and crucial part of life. Unfortunately it can be disrupted by various conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS is a hormonal disorder common among those of reproductive age, which affects the ovaries. It is estimated that around 1 in 10 ‘women’ in the UK are affected.
PCOS isn’t curable and can be challenging to navigate BUT it is possible to manage the symptoms and maintain menstrual wellness. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of PCOS, exploring its causes, symptoms, and offering tips on how to manage this condition effectively.
While the exact cause of PCOS remains unknown, genetics, insulin resistance, and inflammation are believed to play a role.
Common Symptoms of PCOS:
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles: PCOS tends to cause irregular periods, which can make it challenging to predict when your next cycle will occur.
- Ovulatory Dysfunction: PCOS can disrupt ovulation, making it difficult to conceive.
- Hirsutism: Excess hair growth on the face, chest, and back is a common symptom of PCOS, caused by increased levels of androgens, male hormones.
- Acne and Oily Skin: Hormonal imbalances in PCOS can lead to acne and oily skin.
- Weight Gain: Many people with PCOS struggle with weight gain, and obesity can exacerbate the condition.
- Insulin Resistance: PCOS is often associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Follicles: Despite the name, you do not have cysts with PCOS. Instead your ovaries enlarge and contain follicles (undeveloped, fluid-filled sacs usually up to 8mm in size) that surround the eggs. These are deemed as ‘harmless’.
- Most of the above can also cause you to potentially feel fatigued.
- Your physical and mental/emotional well-being can also be affected which, in turn, can influence your libido (sex drive).
- Consult a Healthcare Professional: If you suspect you have PCOS, consult your GP for a proper evaluation and guidance.
- Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is extremely beneficial for managing PCOS. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and managing stress.
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to help regulate your menstrual cycles, control insulin levels, or reduce excessive hair growth.
- Fertility Treatment: For those looking to conceive, fertility treatments may be necessary to induce ovulation.
- Skincare Regimen: Managing acne and oily skin can boost your self-esteem. Consult with a dermatologist for a skincare routine that works for you.
- Emotional Support: PCOS can be emotionally challenging. Seek support from friends, family, or support groups to help you cope with the emotional aspects of the condition.
PCOS can be a challenging condition, but it is possible to manage its symptoms and maintain menstrual wellness with the right support, tools and information. If you suspect you have PCOS or have already been diagnosed, remember that you are not alone. Seek guidance from healthcare professionals and make the necessary lifestyle adjustments to manage your condition effectively.
At Selene & Gaia, we are committed to supporting your menstrual and wellness health. We are always here to chat and listen, as well as offering a range of products that can help ease the symptoms of PCOS.
Below are some products that are great for managing acne prone/oily skin. Shop our different categories to help you find products suited for other symptoms.