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Hi, I’m Alyssa! AKA, The PCOS Nutritionist Alyssa!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you eliminate your PCOS symptoms with sustainable and realistic nutrition changes.

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Do I Have PCOS? 1-Minute PCOS Symptoms Quiz & Tips

Are you questioning whether you may have PCOS? This PCOS symptoms quiz will give you some quick insight as to whether your symptoms may align with some of the common signs of PCOS. 

It’s free, quick, and painless – what could be better?! Besides offering you this awesome PCOS symptoms quiz, this blog post will also discuss what PCOS is, how it’s typically diagnosed, and how it can be managed. 

As a registered dietitian who specializes in PCOS, you better believe we’re also going to be talking about how to tweak your diet!

background photo of a woman with acne with text overlay stating "pcos symptoms quiz".

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for or replace personalized medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider to discuss your unique medical situation, including your medical history and symptoms. 

What Is PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects approximately 6-12% of women of reproductive age in the United States (1). Most people with PCOS don’t even know that they have this condition either. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 70% of those with this condition are undiagnosed (2).

While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, researchers believe that genetics and environmental factors play a role in its development. PCOS is linked to insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and high levels of androgens (aka male hormones such as testosterone). 

High androgen levels can disrupt ovulation, leading to irregular periods. In fact, PCOS is the number one cause of anovulatory infertility. While this condition was previously thought to only affect young women in their reproductive years, we now know that PCOS is a lifelong condition. 

Unfortunately, having PCOS puts you at an increased risk of developing other medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and even endometrial cancer. 

I know this may sound all doom and gloom, but I believe that knowledge is power. That’s why I’ve created this free PCOS symptoms quiz so you can increase your awareness and advocate for your own health. Take the free PCOS quiz below and don’t forget to continue reading about how PCOS is diagnosed and how to manage it if you need some more information! 

Take The PCOS Symptoms Quiz!

Common Symptoms Of PCOS

PCOS can cause a variety of different symptoms among individuals. While some women may share similar symptoms, it’s not uncommon for people with PCOS to experience very different symptoms from one another. 

Some common symptoms of PCOS include: 

 

infographic with a woman in the center and common pcos symptoms listed around her.

How Is PCOS Diagnosed

If you think you may have PCOS, the first step is to see your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor will likely assess your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and may order an ultrasound or blood tests. 

There isn’t one single test that can tell you whether you have PCOS or not. A PCOS diagnosis is one of exclusion. This means that your doctor will rule out other potential causes of your symptoms such as thyroid disease, hypothalamic amenorrhea, or congenital adrenal hyperplasia prior to making a PCOS diagnosis. 

After other medical conditions have been ruled out, the Rotterdam Criteria is used. You must have at least 2 of the following 3 criteria to receive a diagnosis of PCOS. 

  1. Anovulatory cycles or irregular periods
  2. Polycystic ovaries seen on pelvic ultrasound
  3. Androgen excess. This can be seen either on your blood test results or through physical symptoms of high levels of androgens (such as hair loss or excess hair growth like facial hair)

Despite the name “polycystic ovary syndrome”, ovarian cysts aren’t required to receive a diagnosis – wild, huh?!

Ok, this may seem like a lot of info all at once. If you do have a PCOS diagnosis, let’s dive into what you can do to manage it. 

How To Manage PCOS

If you’ve been perusing the internet or social media, your head may be spinning trying to figure out what type of PCOS you have. Or maybe you’ve never heard of the different types of PCOS. The types of PCOS that are floating around on social media are not recognized in the medical literature. To be honest, I kind of hate them because they give the illusion that everyone with PCOS should fit neatly into one specific “type” of PCOS, either:  insulin resistant PCOS, inflammatory PCOS, adrenal PCOS, or post-pill PCOS. In fact, there’s a lot of overlap between these types. 

Read more about this here: 4 Types of PCOS: Which Is Your Type?

The reality of managing PCOS is that you want to address the root cause of your PCOS and what’s driving your symptoms. This is usually a combination of insulin resistance, inflammation and sometimes adrenal dysfunction. Your next steps will be to start to address these root causes with diet and lifestyle changes.  

PCOS Diet

A healthy diet can be instrumental to lower inflammation, blood sugar levels, and insulin levels. In a nutshell, this is what that typically looks like:

  • Eating consistent meals daily
  • Pairing complex carbohydrates with protein and fat at each meal
  • Including anti-inflammatory foods

There’s a lot of misinformation circulating about whether you need to follow a gluten-free and/or dairy-free diet. The answer: it depends. Read more about these subjects here: Gluten & PCOS and Best Milk For PCOS to determine what’s right for you.

For a lot more information on what a healthy diet for PCOS looks like, take a spin around my blog! Or you can jump right into some info with: A Dietitian’s 7 Day PCOS Diet Plan (PDF Included)

Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle changes are another huge part of managing your PCOS symptoms. Exercise, sleep, and stress are three things that can ultimately have a big impact on your hormone levels such as insulin, cortisol, and testosterone. 

Lowering stress, getting adequate sleep, and regular exercise will go a long way for symptom management. 

Medications & Supplements

There are several different treatment options your doctor may discuss with you. They may discuss prescribing you with one or multiple medications. Metformin, spironolactone, birth control pills, and recently GLP-1 receptor agonists like Ozempic are commonly prescribed.

Additionally, many women are interested in a more holistic approach to managing their PCOS symptoms. So it should come as no surprise that supplements are pretty popular among those with PCOS. 

Inositol is the most well-studied supplement when it comes to PCOS. Read more about this supplement (and my favorite brand of inositol) here: 8 Ovasitol Benefits for PCOS

Some other popular supplements in the PCOS world are fish oil, magnesium, berberine, zinc, vitamin D, and prenatal vitamins.  

Always talk to your doctor before starting any supplements.

The Bottom Line

PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women. Common symptoms include irregular periods, infertility, weight gain, cravings, hair loss, unwanted hair growth, acne, mental health struggles, and fatigue. 

Being faced with a potential PCOS diagnosis can be scary. A PCOS diagnosis may not be in your control but there are many things you can do to manage your symptoms. A balanced diet, healthy lifestyle, medications, and supplements can all be considered as part of an effective treatment plan for you. 

If you’re ready to have a solution-oriented guide to managing your PCOS without stress, check out The PCOS Playbook. With this guide, you will feel confident in your food choices, reduce your symptoms, and no longer feel like you’re choosing between feeling good and “being good” with your diet that was too restrictive and unrealistic. As a dietitian with PCOS, I have a TON of strategies to help you feel your best and I included them in the playbook for you to use, starting today!

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