6 Ways to Beat PCOS Pain
PCOS is short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. If you have it, you know it’s a common treatable health issue, although it affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. What does it mean to have PCOS? What are the common symptoms? PCOS is a metabolism issue and hormonal imbalance that could potentially affect a woman’s physical appearance. Unfortunately, it can also affect a woman’s ability to bear children.
Since PCOS is a core fertility issue, it affects the ovaries the most, causing the egg not to develop or release properly during the menstrual cycle fully. PCOS can also cause irregular periods, which can lead to cysts in the ovaries. However, if you do have PCOS, there are ways to beat the PCOS pain. The sickness doesn't have to run your life.
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Along with irregular periods and fertility issues, PCOS can affect you physically (lousy skin and hair). The real cause of PCOS is unknown, but it has been said genetics have changed the disease. If you are worried you have PCOS or already know you do, here are the main things you should know.
Who gets PCOS? And when?
- Ages between 15 and 44 (5% to 10% of women within this age range) are most likely to get the disease. Specifically, women can get PCOS anytime after puberty happens, the risks may be higher for obese women, or if you have a family member that has had PCOS in the past.
What are the causes of PCOS?
- Androgen levels are abnormally high. To understand androgens the best, they’re often known as the “male hormone.” Women make a small amount of them, too; however, women with PCOS have more of these hormones than usual. Androgen levels prevent the ovaries from releasing the egg during ovulation.
- Levels of insulin that are abnormally high increase the likelihood of PCOS. Insulin creates energy from what you eat. And many women with PCOS have insulin resistance when cells do not respond accurately to the insulin in your body. High insulin can happen if you’re eating unhealthy foods or not getting the right amount of exercise.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
- A lot of excess hair on parts of the body that typically don’t have a lot of hair (i.e., places men have hair: chin, face, etc.) can be a symptom of PCOS.
- Thinning hair on the scalp.
- If you are experiencing an irregular menstrual cycle, if you have PCOS, you may have missed a period or two.
- Having issues sleeping, even though you feel fatigued all the time (i.e., sleep apnea).
- Skin tags under the neck area of armpits are a possible symptom of PCOS.
- Having ongoing issues getting pregnant.
- Because of hormonal changes, ongoing headaches can also be a symptom.
- Difficulty losing weight or gaining excess weight.
- If you have a lot of acne on the upper back, chin, and face, you could have PCOS.
- PCOS can cause darkening of the skin on neck creases or underneath breasts.
When to see a doctor?
- If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, notify your doctor. The quicker you get to the root of the issue, the faster your doctor will be able to prescribe you certain medications that will help.
- If you’re pregnant and have PCOS, there are ways to lower the risk of issues by maintaining healthy body weight, making sure you have healthy blood sugar levels before you get pregnant by taking folic acid.
6 Ways to Beat PCOS Pain
If you do have PCOS, it’s important to note that there are ways to beat the PCOS pain and live a comfortable life. Treatments are out there to ease the symptoms; you’ll have to try different methods here and there. A few of these solutions to beat PCOS pain are not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to treat PCOS symptoms and can cause problems during pregnancy.
At Home Treatment
- Lose some weight. Being active is essential to alleviate PCOS pain. If you lose weight, your blood glucose levels can lower, allowing your periods to become more regular and improve the way your body uses insulin. If your overall health is up to form, this can improve your ability to get pregnant as well.
- Buy hair removal remedies. Laser hair removal, removal creams, or facial hair removal creams from a drugstore can help you get rid of unwanted hair right away.
- Slow down constant hair growth. A doctor can give you a specific ointment (eflornithine HCl cream) to help slow the hair growth down in unwanted spots on your body.
- Metformin: This is a medication often used for type 2 diabetes to lower insulin and androgen levels. After using this medication for a few months, it could also reactivate ovulation.
- Hormonal birth control: This can come in the pill, shot, IUD, vaginal ring, or the patch. These will work to make your menstrual cycle more regular, help balance hair production in unwanted spots (precisely birth control with more progesterone and estrogen). Birth control can also lower the risk of endometrial cancer.
- Anti-androgen medicines: This is a medication that works to block the effects of androgen (hair in unwanted places, acne, etc.)
There is no cure for PCOS, but managing PCOS pain is doable based on the symptoms you have. So, consider all the ways you can manage the health issue best. Move around outside, find a medication that works best for you, and have conversations with your doctor.
Miologi focuses on bringing the best information available for pain management. We are a community of professionals who take your health and pain management seriously.