What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It’s a hormonal disorder common among people of reproductive age. It can cause various symptoms such as irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and often leads to the development of small cysts on the ovaries. It can also impact fertility and has potential long-term health implications. If you suspect you have PCOS, it’s best to consult a medical professional for proper diagnosis and management. As a doula here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I work with families that have PCOS symptoms. Below you can find how PCOS impacts life and ways that the right specialist, such as T’Kia with Busy Being Birth & Wellness, can support.

PCOS primarily affects the balance of sex hormones, particularly androgens, insulin, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estrogen, and progesterone. It’s important to note that the hormone imbalance in PCOS can vary between individuals, leading to a range of symptoms and severity. Finding a doula/specialist with PCOS expertise can offer several advantages for individuals with PCOS who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, offering insights into managing these imbalances and their potential effects on pregnancy and childbirth.

Hormones Involved

Androgens– These are often referred to as “male hormones,” but they are present in both males and females. In PCOS, elevated levels of androgens can lead to symptoms like excess hair growth (hirsutism), acne, and male-pattern baldness.

Insulin– Insulin resistance is common in PCOS. High levels of insulin can contribute to the production of more androgens, worsening the hormonal imbalance and other symptoms.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)- Elevated levels of LH are often seen in PCOS. This can affect ovulation and contribute to the formation of ovarian cysts.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)– In PCOS, FSH levels might be normal or even lower than usual compared to LH levels, leading to disruptions in the menstrual cycle and ovulation.

Estrogen and Progesterone– These hormones might be produced in different ratios in individuals with PCOS, contributing to irregular menstrual cycles and other symptoms.

Advantages of finding a doula with PCOS expertise? Finding a doula with PCOS expertise can offer several advantages for individuals with PCOS who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant:

Even into the parenthood journey, PCOS can affect postpartum. PCOS can sometimes affect milk supply and breastfeeding. As a doula and IBCLC (lactation consultant) I have advanced expertise that can offer insights and strategies for successful breastfeeding while managing potential challenges.

Additional Affected Areas

The emotional strain can be heavy for many individuals. PCOS can have emotional and psychological effects. A doula who understands this aspect can offer empathetic support and coping strategies to navigate these feelings during pregnancy and postpartum.

Lastly, advocacy is important. A doula with PCOS expertise can help advocate for your specific needs and preferences with healthcare providers.

If any of this sounds like areas that you struggle with or would love support with, please do not hesitate to reach out. you can fill out our contact form and T’Kia will get back with you soon. Stay strong Cysters!

Oklahoma Doula & Lactation Consultant

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