Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) impacts hormone levels in women. This often includes an increased amount of male hormones, which results in missed periods. It can cause depression, infertility, acne, diabetes, hair loss and obesity. When menopause occurs, there is a good chance that PCOS will persist. In addition to producing testosterone, PCOS menopause can create issues with insulin and high blood sugar. This tends to exacerbate the production of male hormones. These issues may or may not be improved by menopause.
There are other issues that can occur from PCOS, such as problems producing progesterone. Women that develop PCOS before menopause may experience problems with pregnancy because of low progesterone. By the age of 51, which is the average age of menopause, a much lower level of progesterone is produces. Since both PCOS and menopause have a role in the amount of progesterone that a woman’s body produces, menopause won’t likely improve symptoms of PCOS.
Risks Associated with PCOS During Menopause
There are many issues that can occur as a result of PCOS. Some of them include infertility, heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammation, infertility, type 2 diabetes, weight gain and premature aging, among others. It’s worth noting that some women will in fact have a lower incident of these conditions when they enter menopause, but it’s not something that should be expected.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Beyond what has already been mentioned about the PCOS menopause connection, it's worth noting that both can be treated in similar ways. For starters, maintaining a healthy weight can mitigate serious issues, such as strokes and heart attacks. In fact, managing PCOS and menopause requires weight maintenance to reduce associated symptoms.
There are many ways to manage weight for the purpose of addressing symptoms of PCOS and menopause. To lose weight, you can reduce the amount of food that you eat because portion size is one of the most common reasons for weight gain. Another solution is decreasing the amount of carbohydrates consumed daily and increasing your intake of protein. A great way to get started on a healthy eating plan is by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
It almost goes without saying that daily physical activity is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise can also minimize symptoms of menopause, such as stress, anxiety and depression. A great strategy is to incorporate activities that you enjoy and don’t really consider exercise, such as swimming or some form of sport. It’s best if the exercise chosen is low-impact.
Importance of Sleep When You Have PCOS in Menopause
Sometimes sleep is taken for granted. There are many benefits associated with getting the proper amount of sleep every night, which is approximately 8 hours. Unfortunately, PCOS menopause can cause insomnia. In fact, resolving this issue should be a priority because lack of sleep exacerbates the other symptoms associated with both PCOS and menopause. One way to resolve the sleep issue is by establishing a set time for going to sleep every night. You should also avoid the use of electronic devices for at least one hour before bedtime.
Dealing with the issue of PCOS during menopause requires thoughtful consideration of your lifestyle and consultation with a doctor. They both have similar symptoms that can be managed with the right plan of care.