PCOS is an acronym you may have heard before without really knowing exactly what it means. It stands for polycystic ovary syndrome and is a disorder that affects the hormone levels of people assigned female at birth. It’s believed to be inherited genetically, although the specific inheritance rate is unknown (it’s estimated to be about 70%).
While PCOS can be a really frustrating disorder — causing changes to your menstrual cycle, fertility, weight, and appearance — most people affected by it are able to live normal, healthy lives, thanks to treatment by their health care providers or tweaks to their lifestyles. This includes following a PCOS diet, which can help you to manage some of your symptoms.