Telling the Difference between PCOS and Changing Hormones
One of the situations teenage girls sometimes face as they grow and develop is hormonal changes. These hormonal changes can be identified by certain symptoms, such as:
- Irregular periods
- Heavy periods
- Excess body or facial hair
- Weight gain
What you may not realize is that these symptoms can also be an indication of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS is the most commonly spread hormone problem among women. Approximately 5% to 10% of women and girls experience PCOS. PCOS is even more common among women than problems with the thyroid.
Typically, PCOS starts soon after a girl gets her first period. For some women, it can develop later, however.
There are some symptoms associated with PCOS that you can be on the lookout for:
- Irregular periods. This can be too frequent or too seldom, or periods that last a long time.
- Excessive hair. This is especially common on the arms, legs, back, chest, and face. In fact, PCOS is the most common reason women experience excessive hair growth.
- Acne. Acne due to PCOS is usually located on the face and on the back, and in some cases it will be severe.
- Obesity. Weight gain or difficulty trying to lose a few pounds can also be indicative of PCOS.
- Patchy skin. Dark patches of skin in the groin, underneath the arms, and on the back of the neck can all be associated with PCOS.
There are a number of ways that PCOS is treated. Some of the treatments deal with the symptoms of the condition and try to prevent certain complications.
Here are some of the common treatments:
- Hormones are often given to help with the imbalance and to lower the testosterone in the woman’s body. Most often this takes the form of birth control pills. It will also regulate periods and mitigate the risk of cancer of the endometriosis.
- Excess hair may be treated with creams or prescription medications.
- Acne is often treated with topical creams or with oral antibiotics.
- Weight loss can also help with PCOS symptoms.
So, what do you think? What has your experience been with PCOS?