Depression and anxiety are common in women with PCOS but psychological effects are often overlooked. Note: Picture used for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Supplied

My journey...

  • Unexplained changes in the body
  • Unpredictable menstrual cycle
  • Depression and anxiety

Struggling for years from acne, gaining weight despite eating not significantly more than my daily calorie limit and an unpredictable menstrual cycle were puzzling me for a long time.

After a couple of years into noticing my symptoms, I knew something must be wrong and decided to do a little research. Surfing the internet for answers, to my surprise, the first thing that appeared were links explaining Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I did not know what that was at the time.

However, within minutes of reading the symptoms patients of the disorder showcase, I knew I could relate. While  many patients with PCOS have obvious symptoms, going to a professional is extremely important, and so I did.

Upon listening to changes in my body I had observed over the years, the doctor was quick to confirm my fears.

However, she prescribed an ultrasound that would help pinpoint the diagnosis.

When doctors suspect a case of PCOS, areas surrounding the uterus, ovaries and the pelvis are examined through an ultrasound. Abnormalities such as cysts on ovaries and enlargements are looked for.

Upon confirming that I had the condition, my doctor and I decided that losing weight should be my first priority.

She explained to me the toxic relation between being heavy and controlling my PCOS.

Without resorting to any shortcuts, a steady healthy diet and regular exercise helped me lose more than 13 kilograms within six months and helped my score on the body mass index (BMI) revert to a healthy state.

Diet plays an important role in the fight to control PCOS. Note: Image used for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Supplied

I was lucky. Meight was not as much as some other PCOS patients.

“It is difficult to classify if someone has severe PCOS or a milder version, that doesn’t really exist. However, different patients can have varying levels of the symptoms,” Bassel Noah, Consultant Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility expert, told Gulf News.

“Patients can gain weight quickly and it can be difficult to shed it,” he added.

A number of other issues are also linked to the disorder.

“There are a lot of health problems that have been linked to PCOS like pre-diabetics, type 2 diabetics, cardiovascular disease like endometrial cancer and metabolic issues,” added Noah.

The disease and its symptoms not only had physical effects on my body but psychological, too. Increased weight and bad skin took a toll on my self-confidence.

There are a lot of health problems that have been linked to PCOS like pre-diabetics, type 2 diabetics, cardiovascular disease like endometrial cancer and metabolic issues

- Dr Bassel Noah, Consultant reproductive endocrinologist and infertility expert

“Depression and anxiety are common in women with PCOS but psychological effects are often overlooked. Around 35 per cent of the women with PCOS have depression and 45 per cent of them have anxiety, compared to 10 per cent of women in the general population,” explained Noah.

With increased awareness and classification of the disorder, more women are getting diagnosed and treated. According to Noah, a large number of women in the UAE have PCOS.

If one experiences similar symptoms or observes changes in their body, consulting a professional is the best option.