‘What if i have PCOS?’ Here’s what you need to check.

Dr Vandana
October 11, 2023
3 minutes
pcos image

PCOS is one of the most common hormonal disorders in the reproductive years of women.Recent studies suggests that 1 in 5 women experience PCOS and are often unsure of how it plays out.

If symptoms like missed periods, weight gain, acne, excess hair growth, hair fall making you suspect PCOS? Your symptoms can be a mimic of other conditions, making PCOS go undiagnosed.

The specific reason for PCOS is not clear. PCOS doesn’t happen due to a single cause. It’s a multifactorial condition, that can range from genetics to Insulin resistance to raised Androgen levels and can impact various functions in our body.

What do the symptoms look like?

  • Irregular and painful periods 
  • Sudden loss/ gain of weight/ Fluctuation of weight
  • Excess body and facial hair 
  • Patches on skin, pigmentation
  • Sudden loss/ gain of weight/ Fluctuation of weight
  • Acne, oily skin
  • Hair loss or baldness
  • Fertility issues (problems with getting pregnant)
  • Loss of libido (sexual desire)
  • Gastric issues- bloating, acidity, constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping
Some long-term effects which are not as easily recognisable-
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Insulin resistance
  • Risk of developing Diabetes, Fatty Liver and Heart conditions
  • Complications in pregnancy – Hypertension, Diabetes, Pre-term birth
  • Endometrial Cancer 

How to figure out if this is PCOS? 

There is no test to definitively diagnose PCOS. Most medical professionals use the Rotterdam criteria to diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), as per which women with PCOS usually have at least two of the three following conditions:

  1. Irregular menstrual cycles
  2. Ovaries with fluid-filled sacs or cysts on ultrasound scan
  3. Signs of excess Androgens (male hormones) such as acne, hair loss, and hirsutism (growth of extra unwanted hair) on the face, chin, and other parts of the body.

It’s important to rule out underactive thyroid before making a diagnosis of PCOS, as symptoms often look similar and hence, a test might be able to confirm the same.