Aspire HFI Blog

Debunking Common Myths About PCOS: Separating Fact from Fiction

Posted on September 13th, 2023

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects some women during their reproductive years, often causing irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and infertility. There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding PCOS that can lead to confusion and misinformation. Debunking some common myths about PCOS may help you separate fact from fiction. It can also help lead to a proper diagnosis and treatment for those with PCOS-related infertility.

Myth #1: People with PCOS can’t get pregnant

Fact: Having PCOS does not mean you can't get pregnant. PCOS is a common cause of female infertility, but it is treatable. Many people with PCOS can get pregnant naturally, especially with lifestyle adjustments. Those who struggle to conceive often respond very well to basic infertility treatment options such as ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (IUI). In some cases, advanced fertility treatment – such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) – results in successful outcomes.

Myth #2: PCOS always causes cysts on the ovaries

Fact: Although the condition is named for ovarian cysts (i.e., polycystic ovary syndrome), not every individual with PCOS has these cysts. The three significant symptoms of PCOS are:

  • Irregular periods, absence of periods, or heavy periods
  • High level of androgens
  • Fluid-filled sacs (cysts) that form on the ovaries

Although ovarian cysts are a common symptom of PCOS, the condition does not always include them.

Myth #3: Infertility is the only medical concern associated with PCOS

Fact: In addition to infertility, PCOS can cause a wide range of issues due to hormonal imbalances. Some of these include insulin resistance, weight management, hair loss, abnormal hair growth, and acne. Patients with PCOS also have a higher risk of developing serious chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular issues.

Myth #4: Birth control pills can cure PCOS

Fact: At this time, PCOS cannot be cured. However, you can live a happy, healthy life with PCOS if you receive the right medical care and support. While birth control pills will not cure PCOS, they often help manage its symptoms.

Myth #5: PCOS is caused by poor lifestyle choices

Fact: The exact cause of PCOS is not yet fully understood but research indicates that there is a correlation between PCOS and genetic or chemical changes in the uterus. Although lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, can help you manage some of the symptoms of PCOS (e.g., weight gain and insulin resistance), lifestyle alone is not the primary cause of PCOS.

That being said, lifestyle modifications can definitely help reduce the severity of PCOS symptoms, including infertility. These lifestyle recommendations generally include:

  • Eating a healthy diet consisting of fruits (berries, oranges, apples, etc.), vegetables (leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, etc.), lean proteins (poultry, lean beef, fish, legumes, etc.), whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc.), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, etc.)
  • Using PCOS-friendly herbs and spices, such as cinnamon, turmeric, and ginger
  • Drinking plenty of water – at least eight 8-oz glasses a day
  • Limiting or avoiding overly processed foods or foods high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and trans fats
  • Exercising regularly (with your healthcare provider’s consent)
  • Avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and drug use
  • Managing stress
  • Getting plenty of sleep

Take Action With PCOS

If you are trying to conceive and think you may have PCOS or have been diagnosed, it’s crucial to rely on accurate information. Consult a fertility specialist at Aspire Houston Fertility Institute for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning tailored to your needs and symptoms.

Built by patients, for patients

Contact us today if you’re ready to take the next step in your fertility journey.


The site uses cookies, pixels and other similar technologies, as further described in our privacy statement. By using our site, you agree to our use of cookies.