In my practice, Parsley Health, it seems every week I meet a patient who has been told by her gynecologist that she has PCOS.
PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a group of symptoms resulting from a hormonal imbalance. It's the number one cause of infertility in the U.S. An estimated 5 to 10 percent of women of childbearing age have PCOS, while at least 30 percent of all women have some symptoms of PCOS. And as with most chronic diseases and conditions, the prevalence of PCOS is increasing around the world.
Most of the women who come to me with PCOS have been told by their doctor that they must take a birth control pill in order to "stop it." Unfortunately, the Pill does not actually fix or “stop” PCOS. It only masks its symptoms while the syndrome continues unhindered under the surface.
No one truly knows what causes PCOS. It's also not one single disorder but at least four independent disorders all characterized by an overlapping but inconsistent set of symptoms: