PCOS (short for Polycystic-Ovarian Syndrome) is one of the most common endocrine diseases that can affect women of childbearing age. Irregular cycles are only one of the many symptoms that come along with this disease- but that doesn’t mean you can’t accurately track them!
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disease that occurs in about 5-10% of sexually mature women. The onset of the disease is typically between 15 and 25 years of age.
PCOS is characterized by cycle disorders in combination with a male pattern of hair growth, acne or hair loss and/or an increase in male sex hormones in the blood. Other diseases of the pituitary gland, adrenal gland and ovaries must also be excluded. According to this definition, established in 1990 by the NIH (National Institutes of Health), only 70% of female patients have the classic polycystic ovaries, which originally gave the disease its name.
What symptoms can come along with PCOS?
PCOS can cause many different symptoms, which are varying in severity for each patient. Common complaints are:
In some women who have PCOS, menstruation stops or occurs only at intervals of a few months. Some women also have so-called anovulatory cycles. This means that ovulation does not occur during the cycle.
Hirsutism and Virilism
Due to an excess of male hormones in the body, women with PCOS can develop a male hair type. This phenomenon is also called "hirsutism". Hair grows on the chest, thighs and back, the pubic hair changes and a beard develops. Hirsutism and the masculinisation of the body stature (virilism) is due to the effect of the increased presence of male hormones.
Further possible symptoms can include the loss of head hair, skin impurities, infertility and mental health problems.
Find more details about PCOS here!
PCOS and mental health
Many women affected by PCO syndrome not only suffer physically. Due to increasing body hair, lack of menstruation and possible infertility, they may feel increasingly uncomfortable in their bodies, become socially withdrawn and develop depression. It is therefore extremely important that patients receive psychological help from a therapist or in a support group.
Getting pregnant with PCOS
Women with PCOS who wish to have children must take medication that stimulates the ovaries and thus promotes ovulation. After about nine to twelve months, the success of the treatment is monitored.
Normally it is possible to become pregnant today despite the PCOS. However, pregnancy is more risky: Miscarriages, gestational diabetes and multiple pregnancies are more common. Therefore, pregnant women with this disease must have regular medical check-ups to be able to detect complications quickly.
Pearl and PCOS
We repeatedly get asked by our community, whether it is possible to track your cycle and your ovulation with Pearl if you have PCOS and the answer is: YES!
Even though your menstrual cycle can be pretty irregular when you have PCOS, Pearl can accurately track your ovulation and fertile days. Why? Because it measures your actual hormone levels daily it bases its cycle analysis on them in real time and can detect hormonal peaks at any point in your cycle.
This means that Pearl doesn’t depend or build on data from your last cycles and takes into account that every cycle is different: After you take a picture of your Pearl test, you will get feedback right away. No more guessing needed, you can actually know what your hormones are up to. And since your hormones trigger your ovulation, you can expect an accurate ovulation prediction as well as see how your hormones relate to one another.
Much ❤️ from the Pearl Team!