10 Reasons Your PCOS Hasn’t Been Diagnosed
Getting a correct diagnosis can sometimes be a frustrating process. You feel that something is wrong, but tests seem to indicate that everything is fine. About half of all women who have PCOS, however, remain undiagnosed. A few reasons that your doctor may miss PCOS:
1. You aren’t overweight.
PCOS and abnormal weight gain typically go hand in hand. However, around 20% of women who have PCOS have “lean PCOS” and are at or under a normal weight for their height. People who have lean PCOS are still at risk for insulin resistance. It is important to get blood sugar levels checked to ensure that you are not in danger of complications.
2. You have regular periods.
Doctors typically look for irregular menstrual cycles when diagnosing PCOS. Many people who have PCOS experience cycles that may appear regular, but aren’t. For instance, you may have a prolonged and heavy cycle that nonetheless occurs on a regular 35 to 38 day cycle, which can disguise PCOS.
3. You don’t have detectable ovarian cysts.
Not everyone who has PCOS has the characteristic cysts. If you do not present with easily palpable cysts, your doctor may miss your PCOS. In truth, only about two-thirds of women with PCOS develop cysts. In others, cysts are small or are not present.
4. You’ve been on birth control pills for an extended time.
Some women find relief from many PCOS symptoms when they take the pill but experience symptoms when they go off it.
5. You’ve had children.
Some women have only mild PCOS before pregnancy but experience more severe symptoms after. If your PCOS symptoms are new, your doctor may not realize that that is the issue right away.
6. You’ve never tried to get pregnant.
If you’ve never tried to get pregnant, how would you know whether you are experiencing issues with fertility? Your doctor may not think to check you for PCOS if you never complain about having trouble conceiving.
7. You get pregnant without problems.
On the other end of the scale are women who have PCOS but who still ovulate regularly enough to conceive. While PCOS can make it far harder to conceive, it does not make it impossible. Some people have no problem at all having children, which can make it easier to miss their PCOS.
8. You don’t have a family history of PCOS.
There is a strong hereditary factor at play regarding who develops PCOS. However, it is not the only predictor. You may be the first woman in your family to develop. Or, you could have a situation where other women in your family have had PCOS but were never properly diagnosed.
9. You have experienced weight gain without other PCOS symptoms.
If you experience weight gain alone, your doctor may look for other explanations before exploring the possibility that you have PCOS. Your doctor should perform glucose tolerance tests and hormonal testing to see if there is more going on. Not everyone will develop the textbook signs and can be suffering silently from PCOS.
10. No doctor ever thought to ask about your symptoms.
It’s not uncommon to assume that unwanted hair, weight gain and menstrual irregularities are just a sign that you are getting older. This can be especially common if your symptoms are mild. Come see us for PCOS screening if you feel that your symptoms are not adequately accounted for by the explanations you’ve been given.
There are different philosophies when it comes to treatment of PCOS. Some medical professionals will recommend medications to manage PCOS symptoms. Birth control pills, for instance, can regulate periods. Medications indicated for breast cancer can help stimulate ovulation. Still, others can help reduce excess hair and help manage other symptoms.
We prefer to address PCOS in a more holistic way. PCOS symptoms can be greatly reduced or even eliminated when the right changes to diet, lifestyle, and outlook are put into play. We take a comprehensive approach that involves helping you lose weight, eliminate inflammatory foods from your diet and helps you manage stress in a way that reduces its impact on your body.
We believe that it is your doctor’s job to take your symptoms seriously. We work with every patient to ensure that they get compassionate and responsive care.
With our approach, we can help you take control of your health and empower you to make the changes that you need. Could your symptoms be PCOS? Get in touch today for a consultation.