Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects women in all kinds of ways, from excessive hair growth to irregular periods. And then there are those women who have no symptoms at all.

The condition all comes back to the ovaries and how they function. PCOS happens when the sac responsible for housing the ovaries are unable to release an egg, rendering the woman practically infertile.

Identifying PCOS is the most crucial step to treating it, but that can prove difficult if you are one of those women with no discernible symptoms. To help, we’ve put together a bunch of symptoms that may be linked to PCOS…

Acne

A big spot appearing on your face every now and then is hardly unusual, but if you have adult acne it could be a sign of PCOS.

It’s no secret acne is related to hormonal imbalances, as well as sweat, stress and your time of the month.

So it’s no wonder why PCOS can cause you to break out.

If your ovaries aren’t functioning properly you may not have enough oestrogen or progesterone, the female sex hormones, in your body.

This can cause an imbalance of androgens like testosterone, the male sex hormone, which can make you break out.

Hair loss

You’ve probably heard that PCOS can cause you to grow excess body hair – thanks to those androgens again.

But those same hormones can actually make your hair fall out.

Women who have gone through menopause may also find the same thing, because their levels of oestrogen drop.

Sleep apnoea

Trouble sleeping but can’t work out why? Maybe you should speak to your doctor about PCOS.

Again, it’s all down to your hormones disrupting your natural rhythm.

Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder characterised by brief episodes of stopped breathing during sleep. This disrupts sleep and impacts oxygen delivery to the body.

It can lead to lower pain tolerance, high blood pressure, mood changes, heart disease, and increased weight.

So why does PCOS cause it?

Higher levels of testosterone in a woman’s body are thought to disrupt their sleeping patterns.

PCOS can also cause insulin-resistance, especially in overweight women, which has also been linked to poor sleep.

Anxiety and depression

Mental health problems aren’t exactly a symptom of PCOS, but are definitely related.

The condition can be highly distressing for women to go through, even before their diagnosis.

Not having your period sounds like a God send for many women, but when you realise something may be wrong with your fertility it’s an entirely different story.

Right from the beginning of noticing symptoms to diagnosis and even though any treatments, women with PCOS are at greater risk of mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

So if you aren’t feeling yourself it’s important you speak to a GP or mental health professional about how to cope.

Ovarian cysts

Like you need any more to worry about when you have PCOS, but it puts you at greater risk of ovarian cysts.

That means if you regularly suffer cysts it could be a sign you have PCOS.

Ovarian cysts are growths that occur on the ovaries.

An ovarian cyst is a fluid filled sac that develops on a woman’s ovary, according to the NHS.

They usually only cause symptoms if they rupture, are very large, or blocks the blood supply to the ovaries.

It may cause pelvic pain, pain during sex, a frequent need to wee, heavy or irregular periods, bloating and difficulty becoming pregnant.

Weight gain

It’s those pesky hormones again.

An excess of male sex hormones in the body can cause you to pile on the pounds – and make it harder to lose them.

That’s because the hormone imbalance can make it harder for the body to digest foods and affect your energy levels.

On top of that, we already know that being overweight increases your risk of things like diabetes, heart disease and even some types of cancer.

So if you notice you’ve gained weight lately but can’t work out why you should speak to your GP.

This story originally appeared on thesun.co.uk and has been republished here with permission.

While you’re here, read about the exact foods you should be eating to pep up your mood and the reason you can’t stop snacking.

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