woman at consultationOne of the most insidious aspects of PCOS is that it has so many diverse and apparently unrelated symptoms.

Up to 20 have been counted. The symptoms include everything from weight gain and an inability to lose weight, absent or irregular periods (amenorrhea or oligomenorrhea), infertility and excess facial and body (hirsuitism) to thinning hair, acne and ovarian cysts. The list can also include fatigue, mood swings, sleep apnea as well as high levels of heart-damaging cholesterol and blood pressure, which, if neglected, can lead to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

As if all those weren’t enough, there’s a new sympton to look out for: urinary problems.

Researchers in Turkey were studying 140 women with PCOS when they discovered a link between high testosterone levels associated with the disorder and increased urinary urgency, incontinence, a need to urinate at night, bladder or pelvic pain and pain during sexual intercourse.

So if you’re having trouble with your bladder and your doctor has not found an infection or other clear cause, it could be that high levels of testosterone brought on by PCOS are contributing to the problem. Be sure to report this possibility to your doctor.

There are at least three self-help measures you can take to bring your hormones, including testosterone, into better balance. First, consume more whole foods and minimize processed, manufactured foods of all kinds. Second, reduce your exposure to chronic stress. And third, get regular exercise and be physically active.

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