I recently gave a presentation on PCOS as part of my schooling for holistic nutrition, so I thought I’d share the results of my research with you. Just as a side note…even though I’ve been out of college and in the “professional” world for years now, I still get nervous when presenting in front of others…like mega nervous! I can’t even eat anything the day of a presentation because I almost feel nauseous. I get butterflies in my stomach and my hands get all clammy. But the moment I stand up in front of the crowd and start talking, I feel perfectly fine and usually do a pretty good job. Crazy, right? Hopefully it’s something I grow out of eventually!
Anyway, back to PCOS. As a reminder, this information is not to be taken as medical advice and you should always discuss your condition with a physician before proceeding with any treatment. This is only meant to be shared as a culmination of research and reading I’ve done on my own, and my own opinions.
PCOS is a tricky syndrome, and as I did my research I found myself going in circles at times, concluding that women diagnosed with PCOS often have to do their own homework to get to the bottom of their condition. Even the name polycystic ovary syndrome is misleading, as the “cysts” seen on an ultrasound as part of a PCOS diagnosis are not really cysts at all, but semi-mature follicles that never released their egg due to improper hormone levels. In fact, you don’t even have to have these “cysts” on your ovaries in order to be diagnosed with PCOS. Ovarian cysts are a completely disease process from PCOS. Following the Rotterdam criteria (which is the standard for diagnosing PCOS), a woman must have a least two of the following traits in order to be diagnosed with PCOS:
1. Irregular or lack of ovulation
2. High androgen (testosterone) levels, either by observation or by testing
3. Enlarged ovaries containing at least 12 immature follicles each