Can PCOS Go Away?
PCOS is the most common endocrine (hormonal) condition among females in the world. It’s a condition that deeply affects around 150 million women worldwide. That’s not a typo either - 150 million worldwide! It’s a condition that can have an immense impact on your physical and emotional well being. It’s also the leading cause of fertility issues among women.
The first issue is that PCOS is a medical diagnosis, but there’s no surgery to ‘fix’ PCOS, there’s no medication that fixes PCOS so, getting the medical diagnosis simply informs you that your PCOS, it will most likely do little to help you treat it.
Even now, 85 years after the first cases of PCOS were first diagnosed, there’s no PCOS-specific medication, not one. Metformin is primarily used to control blood glucose (sugar) levels in people who have type 2 diabetes.
Spironolactone, often prescribed to women with PCOS to reduce excessive hair growth is actually used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
This is the main reason why many doctors aren’t too great at providing the care you need for your PCOS - they are trained in medicine, but, as I’ve just mentioned there’s no medicine to treat PCOS. Worse still is those doctors who simply prescribe birth control as soon as they diagnose a woman with PCOS.
Some women have asked me if having a hysterectomy may solve PCOS? No, because PCOS doesn’t start in your ovaries so, having your ovaries taken out does not resolve the underlying root cause of your PCOS.
Other women have asked me if menopause may finally relieve you of your PCOS? Unfortunately, again it’s a no, because PCOS affects your menstrual cycle, it’s not triggered by it. Therefore, through menopause when your menstrual cycle becomes infrequent, and then stops altogether due to a lack of quality eggs, this does not directly impact the underlying cause of PCOS.
I’ve even heard from some of my clients who have been told by their doctors or gyno’s that once they have children their PCOS will be cured - what the heck? Unfortunately, once again this is not true.
❌ There’s no surgery to cure PCOS
❌ There's no medication to cure PCOS
❌ Menopause doesn’t cure PCOS
❌ Childbirth doesn’t cure PCOS
After reading the above, I don’t want you to think this is all doom and gloom because it’s not. As of right now, there is no cure for PCOS but, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to treat, and manage your PCOS.
I’ve worked with clients who started with me with the most intense PCOS symptoms who totally transformed themselves.
"You have changed my life and continue to be part of it . I have taken onboard all the diet/food tips & guidelines and adopted these into ‘My Lifestyle‘. The DB teams approach is realistic, affordable, fun and produces amazing results.i have lost 20kg to date. Dealing with PCOS is not easy and it comes with a lot of physical and emotional issues, which are all addressed in the program. Finally, a program that understands it is harder to lose weight when suffering from PCOS and not just making excuses."
So, then what's the answer for PCOS?
Now, in terms of the root causes of PCOS, well, we know there’s generally a genetic disposition, but not always. What’s this mean? One of the reasons you may develop PCOS is, at least in part, determined by your genes.
In a study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the researchers found that 24% of women with polycystic ovary syndrome had a mother with PCOS and 32% of the women had a sister with the condition.
We also know that lifestyle factors and possibly obesity play a role, but once again, not always. There are many women who are not classified as overweight or obese who still have PCOS. This shows that PCOS is not only a condition for those who are overweight.
As common as PCOS is, there’s simply way more we don’t know than we do know.
What we do know is this; the absolute most effective way to manage your PCOS is through lifestyle modification - moulding your daily habits towards those which are going to help you take control of your PCOS symptoms. Our western lifestyle that we live now - convenience food that is highly palatable, calorie-dense and nutrient poor, a lack of movement, chronic stress, and poor sleeping habits is the perfect recipe to make your PCOS worse.
Through your lifestyle behaviours you can take the most control over the two real underlying triggering factors of PCOS; Metabolic stress and inflammation.
Many doctors give simple advice like ‘go and lose weight’ as if that will solve every aspect of your PCOS - sorry doc but, you’re an idiot. In some rare and lucky cases, losing weight may help all of your PCOS symptoms but, it will depend on that individual, her metabolic makeup, her specific kind of PCOS and it’s severity.
But, for close to 100% of other women with PCOS, a holistic and PCOS-specific approach to her entire lifestyle is needed. Why is this the case? Because to truly resolve the underlying issues (Metabolic stress and inflammation), it’s going to take more than simply losing a few pounds of extra body fat.
The PCOS-specific lifestyle factors I’m talking about are;
✅ Low to moderate carbohydrate, anti-inflammatory diet
✅ Regular exercise combining resistance, HIIT and restorative workouts
✅ Quality sleep
✅ Stress management
✅ Being smart with your supplementation (taking the right supplements for your underlying drivers & symptoms)
By approaching your PCOS using the above framework you can take control of your PCOS. Now, to answer the original question of this post; Will PCOS ever go away? Not entirely. This is something you will always live with.
This is why I’m always talking about enjoyment and sustainability in your approach. If you enjoy doing what you have to do, day in day out, this will make what you’re doing sustainable. It becomes part of your life. When it becomes part of your life, coming to terms with the fact that PCOS is here to stay becomes far less daunting.
There’s no fix to PCOS but, there is a way to take control of it the best way you can.