If you are a woman diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), better adapt to a lifestyle change and a regimen of medications, exercise, and check up for most of your life, else it can be a frustrating experience for you.

A large number of American women in their childbearing age (5-10% and increasing) are presently detected with PCOS but a much higher percentage is likely to be undiagnosed and untreated because PCOS is often camouflaged with other diseases. This not only leaves them suffer in the present but often develops to other serious problems like stroke, heart attack, and cancer.


A brief overview of PCOS


Although doctors are not sure as to what exactly triggers PCOS but high levels of male hormones are commonly found in all PCOS patients which prevent their ovaries from producing adequate amount of reproductive hormones and also from making eggs normally.

This imbalance in reproductive hormones is considered to be the main cause for PCOS. The hormonal imbalance affects the ovulation process in which either the ovaries can’t release egg every month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle or the released eggs may not be good quality and mature for fertilization.

PCOS causes these following major irregularities -

  • ● Missing menstrual periods and Infertility.
  • ● Development of cysts in the ovaries (small sacks filled with fluids, thus the name polycystic ovary syndrome).
  • ● Production of high level of male hormones.

  • Theories regarding causes of PCOS


    1. Many researches indicate that PCOS could be a complex genetic disorder in which many genes in a family contribute to the condition.
    2. Other studies show that a large percentage of PCOS patients are insulin resistance, which means their body cells can’t use insulin properly. This leads to an artificial demand of creation of more insulin which forces ovaries to create more male hormones.
    3. Women with PCOS often found to be overweight and suffering from increased levels of inflammation. The excess inflammation may be a cause of their higher androgen ( male hormone ) level.


    Know the symptoms of PCOS


    The various symptoms of PCOS include -

    • ● Infertility
    • ● Irregular period
    • ● Excess hair growth on the face and /or body
    • ● Male like hair thinning or baldness
    • ● Acne
    • ● Hidradenitis suppurativa
    • ● Obesity
    • ● Lipid abnormalities

    However, it is important to note that the symptoms are not alike in every two women.


    Managing PCOS

    While PCOS can’t be cured the best way to deal with it is manage the symptom(s) that bother you most. For example, medications such as spironolactone, birth control pill, etc. can be consumed to deal with increase in hair growth or loss, acne, or other physical symptoms. Specific medicines for acne or hair issues can also be tried.

    Irregular period increases risk of endometrial cancer in future. Taking birth control pill will help regulate your cycles and minimise risk.

    If you want to get pregnant, your gynecologist can suggest prescribed treatment to help you.

    If you are diabetic and want to lose weight, there are treatments with metformin or inositol.

    Apart from the medicines to directly address specific symptoms, adjustments in lifestyle ( avoiding unhealthy foods and drinks ) coupled with daily exercise and meditation help to compliment managing PCOS and especially fight the other serious health issues that may creep in due to PCOS such as, chances of heart attack, stroke, blood sugar, cancer, etc.

    It is most important to learn the symptoms of PCOS and get detected by a good doctor as soon as they appear. Once you know about your conditions and the most pragmatic ways to handle them it will be easier for you take the right course of action to lead a well negotiated life.

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