Health & Wellness

3 Signs You
May Have PCOS

...And What You Can Do About It

At least 1 out of every 10 women suffers with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), and nearly 70% of women with PCOS don’t even know they have it.1

So if you think you may have PCOS, read on to discover the 3 most common signs – and what you can do about them.

Step 1: Irregular Periods

“I haven’t had a period in 7 months”

The problem starts in your ovaries.

When your hormones are out of balance, it can cause the ovarian follicles that haven’t matured yet to stop working right and stop your cycle from functioning normally.

Follicles that don’t ovulate form as tiny cysts on the ovaries (hence the poly in polycystic ovarian syndrome). All of this can prevent ovulation – meaning you can actually miss your period. According to the Office on Women’s Health, some women with PCOS get fewer than 8 periods a year (while others may get none at all!).2

And irregular periods can also cause the uterine lining to build up for longer periods of time. This means the periods you do get can be far heavier and more uncomfortable than normal.

So if you’ve missed several cycles in a row, or if you’ve consistently experienced irregular – or even heavy – periods, it could be time to talk to your doctor about PCOS.

Step 2: Hormonal Imbalance

“I had too much testosterone”

Normally, your ovaries produce only very small amounts of testosterone – sometimes called the “male hormone.” However, women with PCOS can have hormonal imbalances that result in excess testosterone production.

Increased testosterone leads to very common symptoms of PCOS, including:

Thick chin & lip hairs – More than 70% of women with PCOS grow hair on their face or body. You may even experience hair growth on other parts of your body like the back, belly, and chest.

Acne – Male hormones like testosterone can make your skin oilier than usual. This in turn can cause breakouts on your face, your chest, or even your upper back.

Thinning hair/bald spots – If you’ve noticed more hair on your brush recently or if you feel like your hair has started to thin, it’s likely due to this increase in testosterone production.

Step 3: Weight Gain

"I gained over 40 pounds in one year"

Between 40% and 80% of women with PCOS are either overweight or obese.

A big reason why is insulin resistance.

Worse, because you aren’t getting all the energy from your food, your body signals that it’s still hungry. This is why so many women with PCOS often eat too many calories in a meal or feel overwhelmed by cravings.

This excess calorie intake is also why so many women with PCOS experience unexpected weight gain – particularly around the stomach.

Left unchecked, PCOS-related insulin resistance can also lead to bigger health problems down the line like type 2 diabetes.

A 30-second method for dealing with your PCOS

Sadly, there's no cure for PCOS.

However, there are steps you can take to dramatically reduce your PCOS symptoms.

Sign up below for our PCOS newsletter. In it, you’re going to get tips and tricks for managing your PCOS.

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1 March WA, Moore VM, Willson KJ, Phillips DI, Norman RJ, Davies MJ. The prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome in a community sample assessed under contrasting diagnostic criteria. Hum Reprod. 2010;25(2):544-551. doi:10.1093/humrep/dep399 2 Office on Women’s Health. Polycystic ovary syndrome. Published on: Feb 22, 2021. Retrieved on: Apr 15, 2024.