Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects roughly 5 million women. The disease causes women to produce excess androgen (the hormone associated with male sex characteristics.) This excess androgen disrupts the production of both follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH.) With the disruption in production of FSH and LH, the body faces a myriad of challenges. Period become irregular or prolonged, cysts can form on one or both ovaries, and some women can become infertile.
Our faux expert, Grace Pinegar (actually more expert than otherwise) was diagnosed with PCOS in 2016. “My first gynecologist didn’t believe me,” Grace stated, “I was having irregular periods but because I wasn’t fluctuating weight she decided I didn’t have it.” After this first gynecology appointment, Grace was prescribed a birth control that caused her acne breakouts, bouts of depression, and fluctuating weight. Grace recalls that time by simply saying, “That medication ruined me emotionally.” After moving to Chicago in 2016, Grace found a new gynecologist and after five minutes with her new doctor she was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome. “She took one look at my leg hair and knew,” Grace laughs, “I just remember this overwhelming sense of calm because I was listened to and understood.”
PCOS is still being studied and more biochemical intricacies of the disorder are continuously uncovered. The cause of the disease is still unknown and treatments vary from patient to patient. “The best advice I can give is be your own advocate,” Grace presses, “voice that you want to find a solution, because you know your body and you know when something isn’t right.”
If you feel like any of this sounds like something going on with you or maybe you're just interested in the topic, check out these lovely blogs: HelloPCOS and PCOSNutritionist.