What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, also identified as PCOS, is a hormonal disorder where there are enlarged ovaries and development of small cyst around the ovaries. A cyst is abnormal non-cancerous growth filled with semisolid content or fluids.
The presence of these cysts interferes with the Normal physiological activity of the ovaries, thereby affecting the release of eggs, which is also called ovulation. Irregular release of eggs can cause infertility issues.
PCOS is usually seen in women of childbearing age; as such, women suffering from this disease tend to problems with their monthly cycle. According to WHO (World Health Organization), there are about 116 million women in the world suffering from PCOS, which is 3.4% of women worldwide in WHO 2012 studies. According to the Office on Women’s Health, 1 in 10 women of childbearing age suffer from PCOS.
We at Mayor Boss have created a list of symptoms for you, so you understand Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) disorder.
What are the signs of PCOS?
Most common signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is menstrual problems such as
- Oligomenorrhea: Which is a condition of having infrequent menstrual periods, going longer than 35 days without menstruating
- Menorrhagia: A condition of having heavy and long-lasting periods
- Spotting and absence of menstruation altogether
Weight gain has also been associated with PCOS, and the presence of obesity worsen PCOS.
Studies have also suggested that women who suffer from PCOS tend to have a higher level of male hormones (androgen), which is believed to be the cause of excessive hair growth on the face, chest, buttocks, and other parts of the body. This excessive hair growth is called hirsutism. The presence of male pattern baldness is attributed to excessive androgen production.
Other common symptoms of PCOS include
Depression, high blood pressure, seborrhea, severe acne, oily skin, seborrhea, headache, sleep apnea, fatigue, and sometimes low self-esteem due to the feeling of being different from other women around even though.
What is the main cause of polycystic ovary syndrome?
There are no known causes for PCOS, but factors which play a significant role in this disease are :
- Insulin resistance, therefore, diabetic patients are at an increased risk for PCOS.
- Excessive production of androgen by the ovaries
- Genetic link
Do PCOS patients get pregnant?
Many women with PCOS have difficulty conceiving due to irregular menstruation and the absence or infrequently occurring ovulation. However, with proper managing and the right dose of medicines prescribed by a fertility specialist, several women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can become pregnant and have a healthy child.
Can you self diagnose PCOS?
Diagnosing of PCOS will involve visiting your primary care provider, Gynecologist, and an Endocrinologist who will carry out some test to check:
- Your hormone levels
- Carry out an ultrasound to view the ovaries and note the amount of cyst present
- Screen for diabetes and your cholesterol levels
- Pelvic exam
What is best treatment for PCOS?
- Eflornithine hydrochloride (Vaniqa): When used as a topical cream help slow the rate of excessive hair growth
- Stations are prescribed to reduce your cholesterol levels.
- Metformin is given to improve insulin resistance
- Electrolysis hair removal can be used to remove excess hair; the process destroys the growth cells of the
- hair follicles
Treatment for Infertility/ menstrual cycle irregularities
- Clomiphene citrate will be recommended to induced ovulation.
- Gonadotropins are prescribed to reduce the levels of Luteinizing hormones and Follicle-stimulating hormones, which are responsible for increasing levels of androgen.
- Combination Birth control pills (estrogen and progestin) or progestin-only pill will be prescribed to regulate your menstrual cycle and to reduce pain
How is PCOS managed?
Your doctors will recommend the exact management method you will need to improve your health. Such recommendations are:
- Lifestyle changes such as diet management, e.g., Some women who suffer from PCOS, have testified that ketogenic diet has been helpful in weight loss and their overall general health.
- A low-calorie diet will also be recommended to lose weight.
- An exercise regimen that improves your needs will be recommended as well.
The goal of this lifestyle change recommended by your doctor will be to find the method that works for you. Proper and timely management of PCOS has been shown to improve fertility and keep a lot of complications away.
What happens if PCOS is left untreated?
When left untreated, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can provoke complications such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterine lining): During a normal monthly ovulation process the lining of the uterus is shed, but in a disease like PCOS where ovulation is irregular, the lining can build up over time, and this will thicken the uterine lining thereby increasing the risk of abnormal cells being formed which can develop into cancerous cells
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Sleep apnea
- Increase the risk of heart diseases due to high cholesterol levels.
- Miscarriage or premature birth
Lastly, PCOS can be managed with a visit to the doctors, proper lifestyle change, and drugs that improve your hormonal levels and prevent complications.