From reading published academic literature (I am doing a PhD on PCOS at Huddersfield University) to talking with men and women wherever I am speaking (conferences, seminars etc) one of the common myths that I hear often repeated about PCOS is ‘it only affects women of reproductive age’.
Indeed, the large majority of research focused on PCOS includes women in the age category of 18-45 years. So you could be forgiven for thinking that those younger and older than this are not affected.
And you would be wrong!!
Diagnosis of PCOS should always be done as soon as possible so that treatment and lifestyle interventions can be implemented to reduce the risk of long-term health conditions. Adolescent diagnosis is not without its difficulties though, as many of the identifying symptoms of PCOS will be mimicked during puberty. If you have suspicions of PCOS, and especially if there is a family history of PCOS, I would encourage you to seek a diagnosis and to keep pushing.
Sadly PCOS does not go away once you hit the perimenopause, or even post-menopause.
As your hormone levels change so will your symptoms. You may find that acne re-emerges. You may find changes in excess facial and body hair.
As you age, you will also increase your risk of related long-term health conditions. These can by obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, possible increase in heart disease), and endometrial cancer.
The more aware you are of the facts, and the more you bust this myth when you hear it, the better the chances of managing the syndrome.
Until next time… Sharon 🙂