Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

I am sure this sounds like a very serious and complicated health issue or something very crucial and intense term. But it is a very common health problem caused by a hormonal imbalance of reproductive hormones in women who is in reproductive age. It’s the age of 15 years old to 44 years old. Most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. Because this can happen at any age after puberty.

Symptoms of PCOS

  • Irregular menstrual cycle. Is very much visible symptom which should not be avoided. Women with PCOS face irregular monthly periods. They may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come after every 21 days instead of 30 days which is very often. There is a possibility, some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods.
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp (male-pattern baldness).
  • Elevated levels of male hormone may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair which is called ‘Hirsutism’. Up to 70% of women with PCOS are affected by Hirsutism.
  • Polycystic ovaries Your ovaries might enlarge and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.

Causes of PCOS

  • Heredity- Research suggests that certain genetics play a role.
  • Androgens- Although all women make small amounts of androgens (male hormones). Women with PCOS produce abnormally high levels of androgens, resulting in Hirsutism and acne. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle.
  • Insulin- Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. Most women with PCOS have insulin resistance, especially those who have overweight or obesity or have unhealthy eating habits and do not get enough physical activity or have a family history of diabetes (usually type 2 diabetes).

Diagnosis and treatment of PCOS

There is no single test to diagnose PCOS, so to help diagnose PCOS and rule out other causes of your symptoms, Doctor start with a discussion of your medical history, including your menstrual periods and weight. A physical exam followed by a pelvic examination is done, which helps in understanding signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris) and to check if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen. Blood tests are done to know your androgen hormone levels or other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS. And it also helps your doctor to test your cholesterol levels and diabetes.

According to some research done, it is said that there is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS. By talking out with your doctor about the treatment plan based on your symptoms, your plans for having children, and your risk of long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Your doctor may recommend a diet combined with moderate exercise activities to lose weight. Even a modest reduction in your weight might improve your condition because losing weight increase the effectiveness of medications your doctor recommended for PCOS and helps with infertility.