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Uploaded:2014-10-18
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PCOS is the most requested topic for Sexplanations to cover. This episode doesn't cover everything there is to know about the disorder but it gives the curios a great start.

At the end of the video I suggest dressing as a vulva for Halloween. All it takes it a hoodie. You can find the original outfit I wore in the the Vulva video on eBay if you'd like to bid on it and simultaneously raise awareness and support for PCOS research.

Here's a link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vulva-Dr-Doe-costume-/281471007404?roken=cUgayN

I'd also like to feature 2 comments from last week's video:
"I just watched this video (with headphones) while waiting for my car to get serviced. Best coincidence ever." ~Amanda Leonard

And this one from chihuahuazero1 that squeezed happy tears out of my heart: "This channel helps me love learning."
(Intro)

(0:02) Have you ever seen a person with hair on their faces, dark spots, and acne? These could be surface symptoms of a disorder called PCOS. They are just the surface, though. There's so much more going on on the inside. All of which, by the way, affect feeling sexy and being sexual.

(0:18) PCOS. The longer name: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Ovarian Syndrome. You probably recognize the word "ovary," referring to the small organ here, and another one over here, that tend to release an egg every month as part of menstruation.

(0:30) One of the things that can happen for people with PCOS is that an egg isn't released. Instead, the maturing eggs line up in the ovaries, but none of them burst out, none of them dissolve. They just hang out there like little, evil ovary zits: painful little beads of fluid we call cysts. PolyCYSTic ovaries.

(0:47) Now, lots of people get cysts. You could have one in your ovary right now. Or in your arm, your foot, your butt; you can get them in lots of places on the body. The difference with PCOS is that there are usually more of them, more often, in the ovaries; and there are other symptoms going on at the same time, which mark this as a syndrome: a collection of specific symptoms.

(1:05) Another symptom is irregular periods or none at all. As in, periods that last more than thirty-two days or periods that just don't show up for four months or longer. Then there's skin tags, dark marks called "acanthosis nigricans," oily skin, and dandruff.

(1:19) People with PCOS tend to also have high levels of androgen. Androgen, which is considered the male hormone. In a biosex female body, excess androgen causes hair to thin here but grow ambitiously here in all these places: face, thigh, chest, buttocks, shoulders, backs. It also causes acne, significant weight gain, and trouble with ovulation. As in, maybe inability to conceive kids.

(1:45) It doesn't feel good, physically but also emotionally. People with PCOS probably want smooth skin and to run around and flirt and not feel judged. They'd probably even like to have their periods, because at least it'd feel more normal.

(1:58) So how do I know if I have PCOS? A doctor will review your medical history, do a physical and pelvic exam, blood testing, and a checklist of PCOS symptoms. It affects about 10% of biosex females.

(2:08) Can it be cured? No, but it can be treated. Diet has a huge impact on the disorder, especially when it's partnered with exercise. There are lots of blogs and books on PCOS nutrition and fitness, along with success stories from their readers. There's also medications that organize hormones and tell the period who's boss.

(2:26) And if it goes untreated? PCOS is still somewhat of a mystery. We don't know for sure what causes it or exactly how the symptoms relate to each other. We do know that there are much higher frequencies of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, infertility, sleep apnea, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and cholesterol with PCOS than without it.

(2:44) And don't forget sexual dissatisfaction! Yes, while some people with PCOS don't have cysts, some are diabetic, others end up pregnant, one thing is pretty consistent: sexual challenges. Whether it is because of chronic pain, altered body image, low self-esteem, or association with the reproductive system being a butt-head, sex is reported as a hardship for people with PCOS.

(3:04) Research published in seminars of reproductive medicine by Jansen and colleagues describes PCOS patients as significantly less satisfied with their sex lives and sexual appearances. Less satisfied, but not hopeless. Stay curious!

(3:17) Halloween is quickly approaching, and I have a great costume idea for you! You could be a clitoral hood, just like the one from the Sexplanations "Vulva" video. This original costume is going to go on eBay to raise money for PCOS because why not?