Polycystic Ovary Syndrome also commonly known as PCOS is a condition caused by a hormonal imbalance with small cysts on the outer edges of ovaries. Despite being a common syndrome in today’s women, the exact causes are not traceable but may involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The ovaries produce hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. They also produce small amounts of androgens known as male hormones. The case reverses in the case of women with PCOS. The ovaries tend to produce androgens in large numbers, hampering the ovulation process causing irregular menses.
PCOS is a problem which affects 27% of women between the age group of 15 to 44. According to a study, about 70% of women with PCOS had not been diagnosed.
Most Common Symptoms of PCOS
While the symptoms start surfacing during menarche i.e. the initial year of the first period, whereas some discover in later stages in life.
Irregular menstrual cycle: The androgens which affect the ovulation process in the body and the sacs that form in the ovaries leading to immature eggs affect this monthly cycle.
Weight gain: 80% of women with PCOS are obese due to insulin resistance in the body.
Heavy bleeding: The lining in the uterus starts to build up due to longer intervals in menses causing heavy flow during periods.
Acne & hair growth: Excess amounts of testosterone in the body causes unwanted hair growth and acne on the face, neck, and body.
Dark patches: Insulin resistance leads to an increase in dark pigmentation around the neck, arms, and intimate areas.
Infertility: PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility. Women need to ovulate to release eggs to fertilize. Irregular ovulation can intrude on the process to get pregnant.
Depression: Hormonal changes in the body can stir up emotions and appearances like unwanted hair growth, obesity, etc. leading to depression and mood swings.
Diagnosis of PCOS
There are three pivotal ways to diagnose PCOS
Blood Test helps to keep a track of the hormone levels and associated risks with PCOS
UltraSound detects cysts and irregularities in the ovaries and uterus
Pelvic Examination detects problems in the vagina and reproductive tract.
Treatment for PCOS
Despite rigorous research, the cure for the polycystic ovarian syndrome is yet to be discovered, whereas there are some steps that can keep it under control and mitigate its side effect.
The important key to control PCOS is simply by making conscious lifestyle changes.
Exercise Regularly: Maintain a healthy body weight by working out regularly or at least 5 times a week. This will ensure to keep all diseases associated with PCOS like at bay as well as losing 5% of body weight can improve the symptoms and regulate the menstrual cycle
Balanced Diet: Eat a well-balanced diet to nourish the body and keep it healthy. Consider diets low on carbohydrates due to insulin resistance.
Seek Medical Advice: It is always recommended to get a full-body check-up and consult a doctor for medication rather than self-diagnosis. Medication normally involves birth control pills to restore the cycle and fertility drugs. Remember self-diagnosis can be harmful and might cause unwanted danger
Lastly, if you are a PCOS patient, it is advisable to plan your doctor visits and maintain a healthy lifestyle can improve your wellbeing to a major extent.