PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a condition that affects 1 in 10 women and has nothing to do with having cysts, despite the name! Although many people know very little about Polycystic Ovaries, they are actually very common, affecting an estimated 1 in every 5 women in the UK.
It refers to when your ovaries are enlarged because they contain a large number of harmless fluid-filled sacs called follicles that are up to 8mm in size. Usually, eggs develop in these follicles, but in the case of PCOS they are often unable to release an egg meaning ovulation cannot take place.
People with PCOS have polycystic ovaries coupled with other symptoms such as irregular periods due to the fact that their ovaries don’t regularly release eggs. Another feature of PCOS is excess androgen, this means high levels of “male” hormones, like testosterone are present in the body. This can sometimes cause excess hair growth on your face or body.