PCOS or Polycystic Ovary syndrome is a disorder that affects individuals with ovaries only. The disease is yet to be understood in its full glory and this has led to many misconceptions including it is an STD or a Sexually Transmitted Disease. It is important to bust the myth to ensure people with the condition are not denied treatment or to ensure they are being given the right one.
Is PCOS Sexually Transmitted?
No. PCOS is not a Sexually Transmitted disease. It primarily affects the ovaries and is characterized by a number of symptoms. Many of them include irregular menstrual cycle, growth of body hair, acne, and even rapid weight gain. It can also show implications to your fertility and make it difficult to conceive including elevating the risks of diseases like heart attacks.
Though not clear, researchers have been able to narrow down a few causes which can lead to PCOS. They believe that your environment and genetic factors equally play into the reason why one might be diagnosed with the ailment. Women identified with PCOS also are seen to have irregular hormonal levels of estrogen and progesterone. This meddles with the body’s functioning and can disrupt menstrual cycles. Instead, it starts producing androgens which causes cysts in the ovary and can affect a woman’s fertility.
STDs, on the other hand, are infections that get exchanged during sexual contact. It could be oral, vaginal, or anal but there has to be sexual contact. It cannot spread by touching or sitting together. The cause of STDs has been identified as a virus, bacteria, or parasites. Also, there is a range of diseases that come under the STIs including chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes, and HIV/AIDS. Its symptoms could vary from itching to a burning sensation to sores and even Cancer. If left untreated it can take a turn for the worse and can lead to complications.
However, it is not known to cause a fertility issue. Moreover, STIs could be transmitted from a mother to a baby while there is no certainty that a person with PCOS may pass it on to their kids. As it can be concluded, PCOS has no characteristics of a sexually transmitted disease and therefore is a myth that can affect care or intervention for the affected.
Treatments For PCOS
There are a number of emerging treatment techniques available for both diseases. For PCOS, all one can do is get treatment for the symptoms. This includes managing weight, exercising regularly, and taking charge of your blood sugar levels. Patients are also suggested to take a balanced diet. Additionally, there are birth-control pills or anti-androgen pills prescribed to manage the absence of menstruation.
To manage infertility, initiatives are taken for the patient to conceive. When a person is diagnosed with STIs, the doctors will narrow down the particular kind and then flush the system out with anti-bacterial, anti-viral, or general antibiotics. Unlike PCOS, one can take a vaccination against certain STIs like Human PapillomaVirus.
Myths About PCOS
Though not as prominent as the one above, there are a number of myths surrounding PCOS. Some believe that all patients with PCOs have cysts on their ovaries while the truth is only a few have it. Additionally, some believe that PCOS is only about fertility however that is not true either.
It is about a number of symptoms. While weight is a determinant of whether you have PCOS that is no sure shot cause. People also believe that PCOS patients are never able to conceive but there are people who have healthy pregnancies still diagnosed with PCOS.
It is imperative that you take control of the disease and find the right solution to it rather than working around myths.