PCOS: Help & Advice

Helping you live with PCOS

PCOS: Help & Advice

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is so-called because many women with this condition often have polycystic ovaries, which have a high number of small follicles (that look like cysts) just below the surface of the ovary.

The cysts are usually no bigger than 8 mm and are egg-containing follicles that have not developed properly. Having said that, despite the name it is possible to get diagnosed with PCOS without actually having cysts on your ovaries. This is because the syndrome is a collection of symptoms, only one of which is having polycystic ovaries.

If you have ovulatory disorders and hyperandrogenism then you could be diagnosed with PCOS even without having polycystic ovaries.

PCOS effects 1 in 10 women in the UK and scientists are still unsure of what causes it. There is no cure for PCOS and getting diagnosed with the condition can be difficult to hear. There are a number of ways women can help manage the condition and give themselves the best chance of minimising the effects, including taking PCOS supplements like Inofolic Alpha to manage your symptoms.

What are the common symptoms of PCOS?

Fertility Issues

Reduced fertility, difficulty
becoming pregnant


Irregular preiods or no periods.

Ovaries (PCO)

Small cysts on the ovaries.


Thinning head-hair or hair loss.


Increased risk of developing diabetes or high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia) during pregnancy.


You might experience problems including oily skin and acne.

Weight Issues

You can find that you have weight problems such as being overweight, rapid weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Unwanted Hair Growth

You can suffer unwanted facial or body hair (hirsutism).

Metabolic syndrome

Although not a symptom of PCOS, women with PCOS are at great risk of developing metabolic syndrome which is characterised by high body mass index (BMI), high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and blood lipid disturbances leading to a high cardiovascular risk. It makes sense to make lifestyle changes and sensible choices to minimise this risk.

How do I know if I have PCOS?

If you have a number of the symptoms above, you may very well have PCOS. Having said that, a number of these symptoms are associated with different conditions, they are not exclusive to PCOS.

The nature of PCOS makes it very easy for people to end up not being diagnosed or being misdiagnosed with a different condition. You shouldn’t attempt to diagnose yourself with PCOS after searching online. Instead, we recommend that you speak to your doctor and share your concerns with them.

Once you arrange to meet with your doctor they will conduct tests as well as look at your medical history to help come to a diagnosis.

What does PCOS cause?

We’ve already been through the symptoms above, but you might be wondering what PCOS does in order to cause these problems. PCOS is strongly associated with insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance (IR) impacts around 65-80% of women with PCOS, regardless of their weight. Through a complicated mechanism this can contribute towards an excess of male hormones also known as hyperandrogenism. This contributes towards unwanted hair growth, weight issues and irregular periods which are all associated with PCOS.

PCOS can also cause inflammation in the gut. Dealing with these symptoms, going through the diagnosis and then trying to manage your life can also cause fatigue.

PCOS can also give rise to mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. An analysis of PCOS and mental disorders concluded that “Individuals with PCOS showed a greater prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms.” If you are struggling to cope then please note that Verity, the leading UK charity for PCOS, offer support groups for ladies with PCOS. Alternatively, you could potentially look at counselling.

PCOS Facts

UK women

1 in 10 suffer from PCOS in the UK


Affects millions of women worldwide


One of the leading causes of fertility problems in women


If not properly managed, can lead to additional health problems in later life


Can affect a woman’s appearance and self-esteem


Many women experience PCO (small cyst on the ovaries), but some women can still suffer from PCOS without having PCO