Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that causes enlargement of ovaries with the formation of tiny cysts on its corners. It is common in women of reproductive age between 30-40 years. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding PCOS. In this article, we are going to burst out 10 myths among them.

1. PCOS occurs only in overweight women
         It is a myth that women who are overweight only have PCOS. It is also believed that PCOS will disappear once the weight is lost. PCOS also occurs in lean women. The key is to maintain an ideal BMI to regulate the hormones thereby reducing the risk of having PCOS.

2. PCOS makes you infertile
         If you have PCOS and you are not getting pregnant it is wrong to assume that it is due to it. PCOS does interfere with ovulation but if appropriate medication is taken to stimulate and regularize ovulation it doesn’t affect the process of conception in any way. Not everyone with PCOS is infertile. Only 25 percent of the women with PCOS experience infertility.

3. If your periods are irregular you have PCOS
         There are so many causes that can result in irregular periods. At times even stress can cause it. Assuming that you have PCOS because you are having irregular periods is wrong.

4. Taking the hormonal pill is the treatment for PCOS
         Not everyone with PCOS requires hormonal pills. And medication for PCOS is just like a band-aid that hides the symptoms but making lifestyle modifications is more important than that.

5. PCOS can never be cured
         PCOS is not a life sentence. When lifestyle modifications are made and hormones are in balance PCOS disappears and it can come back again if the lifestyle gets poor or the hormone goes into imbalance. Healing for PCOS is usually in one's own hands.

6. Women with PCOS have multiple cysts in their ovaries
         There are cases where women without multiple cysts also have PCOS. They have high levels of male hormones in blood and also present with the same symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, acne or unwanted hair growth. So if your scan shows that you don’t have multiple cysts in ovaries and assuming that you don’t have PCOS without further lab tests is wrong.

7. PCOS women will have acne, hair fall, and unwanted hair growth
         Not all women with PCOS will have these. It depends on the level of hormonal imbalance and the presence of a male hormone called androgen.

8. PCOS is only related to periods
         This statement is completely misleading. If PCOS is left undiagnosed or untreated it can affect the thyroid gland. Research also shows that women with PCOS have a high risk of having endometrial and breast cancer. PCOS can also raise the lipid levels suddenly which can put a person at risk of having heart disease or even stroke.

9. PCOS is a rare condition
         1 in 5 women has PCOS. Out of which only 50 percent are usually diagnosed and millions of them are unaware of PCOS.

10. PCOD and PCOS are the same
         PCOS occurs due to a disorder in the endocrine system while PCOD occurs due to hormonal imbalance. PCOD doesn’t interfere with the development and release of eggs while PCOS does. So PCOS is quite serious compared to PCOD. Hence it is a myth that PCOS and PCOD are similar.