Have you heard of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? If you are a woman who has been facing irregular periods or have trouble conceiving a baby, you might be aware. PCOS is more than just a hormonal imbalance that affects millions of women around the globe.
Let us understand what is PCOS? What causes PCOS? What are the first signs of it? How does it affect fertility? The chronic diseases that are caused and how can you reverse its symptoms?
WHAT IS PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder which affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. The syndrome causes female infertility due to the metabolism enigma and hormonal imbalance which may affect the overall health. Millions of women get affected every year by PCOS. It is a syndrome that is composed of many cysts which are formed in the ovaries when hormonal disruption interrupts the ovulation process.
Many women with PCOS are insulin-resistant. This means that their bodies make insulin but they can’t use it effectively which increases their risk for type 2 diabetes. This causes a chain reaction in which the body produces a higher level of male hormones(androgens) which hinders ovulation and causes irregular menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excessive hair growth on the face and body or hirsutism. It can lead to other chronic diseases which include breast cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attack.
WHAT CAUSES PCOS?
Researchers and health practitioners know that several factors like genetics and environmental factors contribute to its but what exactly causes it is still not known. PCOS causes are:
Higher levels of insulin can lead to excessive weight gain.
Family history is also one of the causes to develop PCOS. Women whose mothers or sisters have PCOS or type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop it.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PCOS?
The first sign of PCOS symptoms occurs when women start with their menstrual cycle at the age of 12 or 13 and also in the 20s or 30s during their pregnancy.
• Irregular and painful periods or heavy periods in the menstrual cycle
• Excessive hair growth on the face, breast, back, thumbs, toes, and stomach
• Thinning hair or male-pattern baldness
• Acne or oily skin
• Darkening of the skin in the neck, under breasts, and in the groin
• Sleep Apnea – Anxiety of falling asleep or feeling drained out all the time.
• Skin Tags – Small pieces of skin that occur on the neck.
• Infertility or trouble in conceiving the baby
• Mood Changes which include mood and depression
HOW IS PCOS DIAGNOSED?
Doctors will diagnose you by talking about your medical history and your symptoms. If you have at least 2 to 3 symptoms like irregular periods or excessive hair growth or excessive weight. Through this, he will assign you to some gynecologist and they will take your physical exam and have a certain test which includes- Pelvic exam, PCOS ultrasound, and blood test.
SELF-CARE AND TREATMENT FOR PCOS?
PCOS can be treated by eating healthy food and doing a workout daily if you have excess weight. Weight loss will help you to reduce your PCOS problem and increase the chances of getting pregnant. To restore your normal menstrual cycles and relieve PCOS symptoms, consult a gynecologist. Take prescribed medications as assigned by the doctor. Changes in lifestyle interventions will help you to work well. It will also help you to reduce the problem of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS can be a daunting syndrome, but not incurable. Consult a gynecologist to overcome this PCOS disease.
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About the author:
BBA, MBA (Marketing Aspirant), Digital Marketing Trainee