Everyone knows someone who has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Maybe you don't know that you know, but with 10% of women in the United States having the autoimmune disease, it's more common than you'd think. The hormonal hell that many of these women go through is not only painful, but it's exhausting, with too few answers thanks to a lack of research and consistency.
This lack of research makes the disease rather "trial and error" for many women, as everyone's case is different and requires them to figure things out based on experimentation. Thankfully, the women of the world are good at fixing problems. While PCOS has caused me a lot of hurt, I've been blown away by the women I've met who continue to tackle this battle head-on, one day at a time.
While there's not a lot of research that's been conducted on the disorder, there is some. To help yourself and others with the condition, you might as well stay up-to-date on what we DO know.
Medical professionals like endocrinologists and gynecologists are generally the ones to clarify what PCOS is when a woman is diagnosed with it. Every day, these doctors are answering questions that directly impact the quality of a woman's life, so making sure they understand treatment plans, as well as how important it is for a woman to feel supported, is crucial.
The symptoms, as well as the treatment, that each woman with PCOS experiences are often different. Sure, this is really annoying, but that doesn't mean you can't commiserate with your PCOS friends. Even if your symptoms are a little different from theirs, they know what you're going through and are still able to provide support.
While there isn't a lot of federally funded research regarding PCOS, women within the medical community are still bringing their A-game advice. Hormonal acne is a very common symptom of PCOS, but just because your body isn't naturally cooperating with your skincare wishes doesn't mean that all hope is lost. There are plenty of women out there willing to share their tips and tricks for getting your skin under control.
We do not have time for extra imbalance (toxins) in our lives, much less from our sanitary products.
Hormones are easier to throw off when they tend to be in an imbalanced state, meaning that any additional toxin has got to go. What genius was giving women tampons full of hormonal hell and expecting it to go over well? Whatever, we know how to read product labels and have no time for those shenanigans.
Yes, even the type of workout a woman does makes a difference on her hormonal health. Fitness professionals who know what's up fully understand that, providing low-impact, hormone-friendly workouts that don't hurt our insides (but do make us sweat, a lot).
People in a relationship with a woman who has PCOS need to know a few things — where the heating pad is and what they need to do to help. They also need to be prepared for possible, difficult situations that arise with PCOS, like struggles with having kids.
This is true of everyone, not just women with PCOS. But when your hormones are something you think about all the time, how you eat may require some extra consideration. Some women decide to go gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, or just pay extra close attention to the quality of ingredients they're nourishing their body with. It really does make a huge difference in how you feel and how "stable" your hormones can be.
High school health class is not exactly known for being thorough. A very tangible thing to help women with reproductive issues is to teach them about those things before they're going to 43 doctors' appointments. Preparing girls to stand up for themselves includes equipping them with information about women's health.
Women with PCOS know how little information there is — most of them are willing to share what they know.
Women with PCOS generally don't mind divulging their private health situation. If they bring it up and you have questions — ask! Sharing the knowledge we've gained may help another woman, or it may just help us feel seen.