The PCOS symptoms and treatment

PCOS is gaining widespread attention nowadays. It is a complex hormonal condition ascribed to an imbalance of reproductive hormones in women. The main characteristic includes an irregular, infrequent or prolonged menstrual period.

Almost 27% of menstruating women get affected by PCOS amongst which, almost 70% remains undiagnosed owing to lack of awareness.

Women, having PCOS, have a higher than normal amount of male hormone -androgen. This imbalance creates troubles. In a healthy ovulation cycle, ovaries produce and release an egg each month, while in PCOS, this ovulation cycle gets affected. The ovary develops numerous cyst (fluid-filled sacs) and fails to produce an egg as it should be. Polycystic word came from there only, it means multiple cysts.

CAUSES:

It is still a subject of research as the exact cause is unknown. It can be attributed to a higher level of androgen (male hormone) reasons being:

  • Genes or hereditary
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity causing insulin resistance

SYMPTOMS:

  • Irregular periods or amenorrhea (absence of a period)
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Excessive hair growth on face or body
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Weight gain
  • Darkening of skin
  • Headache
  • Mood swings

COMPLECTIONS:

  • Infertility
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndromes such as high blood pressure or high blood sugar
  • Sleep apnea
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature delivery
  • High blood pressure (preeclampsia)
  • Gestational diabetes

SIGNS ON EXAMINATION:

-Medical history – irregular menstrual cycle

-Blood report – high androgen level

-Pelvic or P/V examination – cysts in the ovary

-Ultrasound examination – cysts in the ovary

TREATMENT:

  • Hormonal therapy (Birth control pills)
  • Infertility medications
  • Insulin sensitizing medications
  • Anti-androgen medicines
  • Psychological counselling
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Weight loss
  • Diet, low carbohydrate diet including fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Exercise

When to seek professional help:

  • On missing period
  • On having signs and symptoms of PCOS
  • Trying to get pregnant for months without success
  • On having symptoms of diabetes
  • On having symptoms of high androgen i.e. hirsutism, acne or male pattern baldness

Women, having a mother, aunt or sister with PCOS are 50% more inclined to develop PCOS. Awareness and open discussion with your family, friend or physician can be of paramount aid. This syndrome can be a nightmare, but it can be dealt with adequate consideration. Be careful and don’t shy away from seeking assistance. Always remember, ‘A healthy outside starts from the healthy inside.’

Author : Ms. Purva Kumbhani, Gujarat

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