My partner has PCOS: How can I support her?

PCOS Fertility and Pregnancy

One article in Health U.S. News states that having a wife thriving with PCOS really has its struggles. And moodiness has been one of the challenges. Lacking knowledge of PCOS made it harder for couples to handle situations. But once a woman with PCOS learns to manage her symptoms, things improve, and also being on the same page with the husband will make it more bearable and improve your relationship. 

In this article, we will give an overview of PCOS, its common symptoms, and how you can manage it with your partner. 

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or commonly known as PCOS is a hormonal imbalance brought by the ovaries producing too many male hormones. The ovaries create high levels of hormones called androgens. This results in different symptoms experienced by women having PCOS. It’s an endocrine disorder which means all the hormones in the body are affected. 

Most women are diagnosed by the age of 20 up to 30. Overweight or obese women have higher chances of getting PCOS, or if other family members have PCOS. It is very prevalent that 15% of women of reproductive age have PCOS according to Cleveland Clinic.

Symptoms to look out for

Here are the most common symptoms of PCOS that you need to understand well in order to handle them properly.

Women with PCOS mostly experience irregular periods. They usually miss periods or do not have a period at all. They may also have heavy bleeding during periods. They could also grow excess facial hair and have heavy hair growth on the arms, chest, and abdomen. This is called hirsutism wherein thick, coarse, dark hair grows on parts of the body where it normally grows as fine, thin hair. 

PCOS causes acne breakout in women, especially on the back, chest, and face. It may be difficult to treat acne caused by PCOS. It’s so easy for them to gain weight and losing it again is a struggle too. That’s why 80% of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity. Darkening of the skin, particularly in the folds of the neck, armpits, groin (between the legs), and under the breasts can also develop. 

Women with PCOS may also have skin tags often found in the armpits or on the neck. These are little flaps of extra skin that hang off the skin by a connecting stalk. Some women suffer from thinning hair where they may lose patches of hair on their heads or worse, start to go bald. And the most concerning symptom of PCOS is infertility. This is the most common cause of female infertility. 

Having these symptoms also add up with mood disorders such as depression. Some lower-level mood issues that can be seen are irritability, lethargy, and being short-tempered. All of this makes a woman feel physically uncomfortable, emotionally insecure, or unfeminine and worsens the situation.

How to manage PCOS with your partner

There is no cure for PCOS or a proven way to prevent it but there are some steps that you can do to reduce the symptoms. Once you learn the ropes on how to manage PCOS together with your partner, the quality of life for the both of you and everyone in the family will improve.

At first, understanding PCOS and how it affects a woman makes it harder to give her the help and support that she needs. You often just get frustrated living with a very moody person. She would get very quiet and then suddenly start an argument with you.

You can start with changing your lifestyle together to help avoid the effects of PCOS. Losing weight with healthy eating and regular exercise is one of the best ways to cope with PCOS. Cutting off a few pounds even in just a small amount makes a difference. It can affect your hormone levels and ease your symptoms. Lowering your stress levels can also highly contribute to managing your PCOS.  

When you notice that she is being moody again, try to work out balancing the hormones causing trouble. The Health U.S. News article listed three things that you can check. Did she take some time for herself to relax? Did she go to the gym or do some exercise? Did she eat something wrong like inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, and sugar? 

Women have trouble getting pregnant but it does not mean it’s impossible. You can still get pregnant even if you have PCOS. It’s harder to conceive and your pregnancy complications are high but your doctor can help you develop a treatment plan to help you ovulate. This can increase your chances of a healthy and successful pregnancy. 

PCOS is an ongoing conversation that changes throughout her lifetime, says PCOS Wellness. That means it changes for you, and your understanding needs to change with it. And talk about how PCOS is affecting you as her partner. 

Conclusion

Even if the symptoms sound the same, every woman’s PCOS is different. Some women have a mild case while some have more severe and complex issues. It can be helpful to remind a woman struggling with PCOS how much you love and cherish her womanliness. It is a real challenge for couples but staying conscious and having ongoing discussions about how it affects both of your lives is important. 

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