PCOS is often misunderstood due to its wide range of irregular symptoms. Here are some symptoms of PCOS with regular periods that you must keep an eye on.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder which means that it is caused due to the dysfunction of one or more hormone-producing glands.
It is typically associated with irregular periods, infertility, and polycystic ovaries in women of childbearing ages.
Above all, the irregular period is generally thought to be the most significant symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), but this does not hold true for all PCOS cases.
To your surprise, you may have PCOS with regular periods and not know it until the secondary symptoms begin to surface more seriously.
This article will cover some of the common symptoms of PCOS with regular periods so you can seek medical attention just in time.
1. PCOS with regular periods
PCOS is a syndrome with so many conditions, irregular periods are one of them not necessarily present in all the cases.
According to the Rotterdam Criteria, the presence of any two of the features is required to confirm PCOS:
- Ovaries failing to release an egg regularly
- Excess of male hormones
- Cystic ovaries
So, you can have PCOS even if you ovulate timely and have regular menses but your other symptoms may be sufficient for a positive diagnosis.
You ovulate (release an egg by either one of the ovaries ) during the middle of your monthly cycle. If the egg is not fertilized it is shed which starts your period. Although it is not common to have regular periods while still not ovulating, there is a possibility that you may have it.
About 3.4% to 18.6% of menstruating women experience this type of anovulatory bleeding when they have not ovulated for a prolonged time. Therefore, regular periods but no ovulation is a rare symptom of PCOS that can be difficult to spot early on.
2. Dry mouth & frequent urination
Women with PCOS may experience heat intolerance, heavy sweating, and dry mouth. Dry mouth and excessive urination may indicate the presence of insulin resistance which is linked with PCOS.
If you have insulin resistance your chances of getting diagnosed with PCOS are doubled and vice versa.
This usually happens as there is too excessively accumulated sugar in your bloodstream that your body is trying to flush out which requires you to drink a lot of water.
3. Lean PCOS
40–80% of women with PCOS are reported to be overweight.
Surprisingly, an evidence-based study including girls of age 18-25 years, shows that about 3.7% of them had PCOS despite being lean.
So, even if you have a normal body weight, you may still be PCOS positive. If you have such drastic sleep disorders it may be due to hidden PCOS with regular periods.
4. Sleep apnea and sleep disorders
PCOS can manifest in the form of psychological features such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, and sleep disorders.
Symptoms of sleep disturbances may include sluggishness, intense tiredness during the day, and facing difficulty falling asleep at night. You may have short sleep that breaks multiple times at night.
Obstructive sleep apnea and excessive daytime sleepiness can be more common in women with this PCOS and thyroid disorder. Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which you may abruptly stop breathing in the middle of your sleep.
It is more common in overweight women and women who may have PCOS with regular periods should look at it as an indication of underlying hormonal disturbances. Some sleep disorders can be managed with the help of natural remedies that ensure uninterrupted sleep.
To sum up
When it comes to PCOS diagnosis, looking only at symptoms can be misleading. A lot of PCOS symptoms resemble those of other health disorders like hypothyroidism, diabetes, hypertension, insomnia, etc.
While these symptoms can help you recognize your body’s poor health condition, the only reliable diagnosis for PCOS is to take hormonal tests and do ultrasound check-ups.
Can you have PCOS with regular periods and no cysts?
Yes. Ovarian cysts and irregular periods are only the symptoms of PCOS. They may exist but are not necessary for PCOS diagnosis and you may have PCOS with regular periods but may have ovulation problems. For PCOS diagnosis you should have any two of the following:
- Ovaries fail to release eggs regularly, which often leads to irregular periods but not always
- You have excessive male hormones
- Your ovaries have cysts
What can mimic PCOS symptoms?
Various metabolic disorders like type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and thyroid or adrenal gland dysfunction may mimic symptoms that are commonly observed with PCOS conditions.
What does PCOS pain feel like?
You may feel sudden pangs of pain in the lower abdomen. Sometimes you may feel a severe backache that extends to the lower body like the thighs and calves. Cysts may cause pain in the pelvic region and the severity of it can affect your ability to focus on minor day-to-day jobs. This pain may be due to Vata dosha imbalance which is why PCOS and near period symptoms have bloating in common.
PCOS may also lead to headaches or any other part of the body but abdominal pain is the most commonly reported.
What happens if PCOS is left untreated?
PCOS with regular periods may trick women into thinking that they do not have it. It can lead to delayed diagnosis and elevated health risks.
Even though you may not notice anything serious early on in PCOS, however, when left untreated it can lead to various hormonal disturbances over time and can hijack your physical and emotional health. Some common PCOS risks are:
- Cardiovascular disease and hypertension
- Endometrial cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes
- Greasy acne-prone skin
- Facial hair