PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in women of childbearing age and women who live with it have to deal with a lot more than just physical symptoms. PCOS can create an emotional burden that makes it hard to function, even when you're not experiencing any physical symptoms of the condition.
You might feel like you're alone, but PCOS is relatively common.
As I mentioned, PCOS is a highly common condition that affects about 10% of women of reproductive age. That's more than 4 million women in the United States alone! So, you are not alone.
However, many people are not aware that PCOS can have an emotional impact on your life. And even if you do know about this aspect of the condition, it's possible that you're still experiencing depression or anxiety without even knowing why.
The good news is that there are support groups available for women with PCOS and their loved ones who want to talk about what they're going through together. These groups can be invaluable when trying to navigate the ups and downs associated with living with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
The physical symptoms of PCOS can't easily be hidden and can affect your self-image and confidence.
The hormone imbalance associated with PCOS also results in excess production of male hormones (androgens). Androgens affect hair growth and oil production, which can lead to male pattern hair loss, hair overgrowth in the chest, face, and back as well as acne. If you are overweight, you may find it difficult to lose weight which can be attributed to the insulin resistance caused by PCOS and its associated high blood sugar levels.
Also, the irregular menstrual cycles associated with PCOS can make planning your life more challenging than usual and if you're having difficulty getting pregnant, this makes things even more complicated.
Trying to get pregnant without success adds to the stress of living with PCOS.
Living with PCOS can be stressful, and trying to get pregnant can add to that. Trying (and failing) to get pregnant can be very frustrating. You may feel guilty for not being able to conceive or worry about how your life will change if you cannot have children. The emotional effects of living with PCOS are serious and should never be ignored!
PCOS is an endocrine condition, which means it affects a lot of things in your body beyond reproductive health.
PCOS is an endocrine condition, which means it affects a lot of things in your body beyond reproductive health. Its symptoms can make you feel tired or depressed, affect your mood, and even make you gain weight.
The hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS make it hard for your ovaries to release an egg each month—or at all, which can lead to problems with fertility. The condition can also cause insulin resistance (your body doesn't properly process insulin), which can lead to diabetes or prediabetes if left untreated over time.
Because of the way PCOS affects hormone levels in the body, it has wide-ranging effects on other parts of your life. It can cause hair growth on your face (called hirsutism), acne breakouts around the chin area (acne rosacea), irregular periods or no periods at all (amenorrhea), weight gain or difficulty losing weight despite dieting efforts; trouble sleeping through the night due to hot flashes and night sweats; anxiety about having children because of possible infertility issues like miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies; depression from feeling hopeless about getting pregnant naturally due to infertility issues associated with PCOS.
Worrying about your future can be overwhelming.
The emotional impact of living with PCOS can be overwhelming. When you feel like your physical, mental and emotional health is being taken away from you, it's normal to feel anxious about your future and what the rest of your life will look like.
There are many ways to cope with this. You may find that a combination of these strategies works best for you:
Talking to others who have PCOS helps put things into perspective. It's important not only to share your feelings but also to get advice from other people who understand what it's like having PCOS. Find someone who can be there for you when times are tough.
Understanding how hormones affect your body and how you can relieve some of your symptoms through treatment and lifestyle changes can help you feel more in control as well as identify potential causes of distress (e.g., stress) so you know what steps need to be taken next time we start feeling overwhelmed again.
Dealing with the hormonal symptoms of PCOS can be especially hard for teens and young women
The emotional impact of PCOS is also complicated by the fact that many people don't even know about it. When you're young, hormones can affect your moods, energy, and self-esteem in ways you might not understand and symptoms are often written off as something else entirely.
If you have PCOS but don't know it yet, or if you think you may be experiencing some of the symptoms we mentioned above (like irregular periods), make an appointment with a doctor so that they can run some tests. If they do diagnose you with PCOS, getting treatment and making some lifestyle changes will help reduce the physical symptoms of this condition as well as its emotional ones.
The impact beyond the physical
Most people think of PCOS as just a physical condition, but it's more than that. Living with PCOS can have a huge emotional impact on your life. The hormones that regulate your period can also cause mood swings and depression, which is why so many women with PCOS suffer from anxiety and mood disorders like depression.
Because of the emotional changes caused by this hormonal imbalance, it's important to find ways to cope with these feelings if you have PCOS. You may experience symptoms such as:
Anxiety/worrying about things that aren't really important in your life (i.e., worrying about things other than the fact that you have a disorder)
Crying spells for no apparent reason
As you can see, PCOS has a wide range of physical and emotional effects on the lives of women who have it. It's important to understand that you're not alone in this struggle and that there are many ways to manage your symptoms. If anyone reading this is experiencing symptoms or feels like they may have PCOS, please see your doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment options and speak with a wellness coach or consultant to help you with lifestyle change to help you manage your symptoms so you can begin to lead the healthy, vibrant life you deserve!
Hey! I'm Davina B. and I'm a Certified Hormone Health Consultant and Herbalist specializing in women's hormone health. It's my passion to help women who struggle with symptoms of hormonal imbalances like difficulty losing weight, fatigue, sleeplessness, PCOS, PMS, painful periods, fibroids, and thyroid issues and more feel vibrant and healthy through good nutrition, stress management, healthy mindset, movement, education, self discovery, self care, and my unwavering support.
In 2016, I transformed my body, mind, and spirit. I lost over 50 pounds and overcame my hormone imbalance symptoms and now I feel more vibrant and healthy than ever and I've had the honor of helping dozens of other women do the same.
Need help managing your PCOS symptoms? This program includes a personalized wellness protocol, meal plans, recipes, workbooks, guides, educational videos and material, and my unwavering support!
I hope I have to honor of helping you manage your PCOS symptoms naturally, so you can live the healthy, vibrant life you deserve!