If you happen to see some teal ribbons this month and are curious as to what they're representing, well September is PCOS Awareness Month - support! Below is a brief description of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS that I found to help gain some understanding:
PCOS is an incurable disorder that affects over 10 million women worldwide and about 1/2 don't even know that they have it. It is the most common endocrine cause of infertility and serious weight gain in women. The more than 50% that do not know they have PCOS are in danger of Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes, Risk of Heart Attack is 4-7x higher, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Endometrial Cancer, Increased Risk of Breast Cancer and Heart Disease.
Facts of PCOS (I cut this list a little short and stuck to some main facts):
1. Women with PCOS have higher rates of anxiety and depression than women without the syndrome.
2. Worldwide, PCOS affects 6% to 10% of women, making it the most common endocrinopathy in women of childbearing age.
3. Elevated insulin or insulin resistance are not part of the diagnostic criteria for PCOS but are seen in the majority of women with PCOS.
4. The diagnotic criteria for PCOS states that a women has PCOS if she has at least 2 of the following 3 criteria: a. Irregular or absent periods, b. blood tests or physical signs that show high androgens, c. Polycystic ovaries
5.The United States spends an estimated $4 billion annually to identify and manage PCOS.
6. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea due to the influence of androgens affecting sleep receptors in the brain.
7. Women with PCOS can have monthly menstrual cycles and still have PCOS.
8. Despite its name, not all women with PCOS actually have cysts on their ovaries.
9. PCOS is the most common cause of ovulatory infertility.
10. The cysts typically seen in PCOS are actually the result of a hormonal imbalance, not the cause of the syndrome.
11. One of the earliest signs of elevated androgens in adolescents with PCOS is acne.
12. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in women with PCOS at middle age is 6.8 times higher than that of the general female population.
13. Women with PCOS have a higher incidence of gestational diabetes, miscarriages, preterm deliveries, and stillbirths.
14. It is estimated that 50-70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance.
15. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to numerous chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. With treatment, these conditions can be prevented.
I have not been diagnosed with PCOS, however my infertility doctor has told me that my body has PCOS tendencies. This means that my body has some characteristics of the disorder even though I have not been diagnosed with it. My acupuncture doctor also treats me as a PCOS patient, again even though I have not been diagnosed with it.
I can't tell you how many stories that I read of women who are affected by this disorder, and the pain of infertility that it causes them - it breaks my heart. Please keep these women in your thoughts in prayers not only this month but always. Also think about the friends or family members that may be struggling with this disorder.....the number affected by this disorder are staggering, and it's likely you know someone with it. 1 out of every 10 women.....that's a very large number!
Me In A Nutshell
My name is Kristina and I'm 37. Originally I'm a Southern CA girl, and I'm now living in the "burbs" of Chicago. I love my son, my husband, my family, my fur babies, and my wonderful friends. I love wine, love to relax, love to have a good time, I'm a little adventurous, love to people watch, and I'm always down for a last minute road trip to virtually anywhere. I'm obsessed with the smell of racing fuel...weird I know - and fresh cut grass! I love to be home, but hate to sit at the house. If I'm excited I get pretty random - sometimes I talk about multiple subjects at once - I'll admit it's probably hard to keep up. My husband and I battled infertility for 5 years before having a successful pregnancy - our son Colton Charles was born September 30th, 2016, Although we have had success with the birth of Colton, our battle still continues with infertility. I've learned it's a wonderful & beautiful thing to share with others the journey that we've walked in the world of infertility. Welcome to our story.