PCOS, also known as a polycystic ovarian syndrome, does a hormonal imbalance in women that cause a common health problem. PCOS is usually found in ovaries and impacts the functioning of developing or releasing eggs in the female body. This leads to irregular menstruation, weight gain, hormonal imbalance, excessive hair growth, and many more. In PCOS, small fluid-filled cysts containing immature eggs called follicles are developed at the outer edge of the ovary.
Women with PCOS cannot make hormones needed for ovulation, thereby not making ovulation a regular activity, leading to cysts’ formulation. These cysts are responsible for producing hormones causing androgens.
What are the causes of PCOS?
There can be multiple reasons leading to PCOS, such as the genetic structure of the family, obesity, resistance to insulin levels leading to high insulin levels causing higher androgen levels, and many more. However, the exact cause of PCOS is unknown.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Different women experience different symptoms of PCOS, and it is advisable to visit a gynecologist such that a treatment plan is laid out and PCOS gets treated. Additionally, lifestyle changes are necessary to fight and treat the syndrome, as slight diet and physical activity changes can majorly impact PCOS.
The following are the significant symptoms of PCOS:
Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Irregular periods such as frequently missing or not having periods at all are the most common symptoms of PCOS. Therefore, women need to focus on their menstrual health.
Women who suffer from PCOS often have excess hair on their body parts, particularly in areas like the face, chin, upper lips, etc., where women do not grow hair. This is because ovaries produce superior levels of androgen, which further results in hirsutism.
PCOS can cause various hormonal changes, one of the major causes of developing acne on the face, chest, and upper back.
Women who have PCOS often experience hair loss or hair thinning. This is one of the early signs of PCOS.
Women who suffer from PCOS tend to gain weight or have difficulty losing weight. PCOS is responsible for weight gain, and with PCOS, losing weight can get difficult. However, it is imperative to do some physical activity that helps in keeping the body active and helps in sustaining the right weight.
Darkening of skin
Women who suffer from PCOS develop the condition of acanthosis nigricans, a condition where thick, dark, velvety patches of skin are found underneath the arms or breasts, on the back of the neck, and in the groin area.
Disturbed Sleep Cycles
Fatigue, sleeplessness, and sleep apnea can be the main complaining problems in women suffering from PCOS.
How can PCOS be treated?
Treatment of PCOS will vary depending on whether women are planning for reproduction. Additionally, factors such as age, the severity of the problem, and overall health are common factors impacting the treatment of PCOS.
In case when a woman is planning for Pregnancy.
Lifestyle Changes: Adopting healthy lifestyle changes such as controlling diet and exercising regularly is the best way to deal with PCOS. This is because staying active will control your blood sugar levels and insulin.
Medicines: Intaking medicines that help the ovaries to release eggs and cause menstruation for the reproductive cycle for the woman. However, such medicines have risks, such as increasing the chances of multiple births (twins or more) or causing the ovaries to release too many hormones.
In case when a woman is not planning for Pregnancy
Birth Control Pills: When a woman is not planning to get pregnant, giving birth control pills will help to control menstrual cycles, acne, and lower androgen levels.
Lifestyle Changes: A healthy diet and more physical activity can help you in losing weight, regulate insulin levels, and lower blood glucose levels; all these factors combined may help you in ovulating regularly.
Other Medications: Your doctor may recommend other medications to control insulin levels, excess hair growth, reduce androgen levels, etc., to help you ovulate regularly.
When to visit the Doctor?
You may visit your healthcare provider if you have irregular periods or missed periods, high androgen levels, cysts in your ovaries, too much acne, and excess weight.
Your doctor will ask you specific questions about your medical history and your family’s medical history, perform a pelvic ultrasound and advise you to take a blood test to understand the situation and provide treatment.
Disclaimer: This blog has been written after performing in-depth secondary research related to the topic from various articles, blogs, and journals, which have expertise in writing for healthcare. For any assistance associated with PCOS, or any doubt related to a woman’s pelvic area, we advise you to book an appointment with the doctor.