Polycystic ovarian syndrome, often shortened as PCOS, is a gynecological condition that affects around 10 million women around the world. The exact cause of this condition is yet to be determined, but most doctors agree that it is mostly caused by an imbalance of hormones inside the body. Even if some nonsexual hormones like insulin are affected by polycystic ovarian syndrome, estrogens and androgens are the most affected hormones in polycystic ovarian syndrome.
This imbalance causes a variety of symptoms that are often overlooked, and for that reason, it isn’t uncommon for this syndrome to go undiagnosed for years. Polycystic ovarian syndrome should never be self-diagnosed, because it shares common symptoms with very different conditions, and a doctor should run tests on you to confirm the diagnosis. However, knowing the possible symptoms can be a sign of alert, so here is a list of 15 PCOS symptoms you might have right now without noticing.
1. Ovarian cysts
Although this is the symptom that gives the syndrome its name, not all women with polycystic ovarian syndrome actually have cysts in their ovaries. Polycystic means “many cysts”, but what is exactly a cyst? The name itself could sound a bit scary, but the matter of the fact is that many people have cysts somewhere in their bodies, and most cysts are functional and harmless, and even go away by themselves.
A cyst is a small bag in an organ or tissue that is full of liquid. The hormonal changes in polycystic ovarian syndrome can interrupt the normal flow of eggs from the ovaries to the Fallopian tubes and as a result a small bag forms in the ovary which gets filled with fluid. An echography can show many cysts forming in the outside of ovaries in a person with the polycystic ovarian syndrome, often arranged in rows. These cysts aren’t dangerous but could cause secondary symptoms.