1. Health & Lifestyle

All You Need To Know About PCOS: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), common among women of reproductive age is a hormonal disorder. PCOS leads to hormonal imbalance and this causes women to skip menstrual periods making it hard for them to get pregnant. In a study, it was revealed that around 70 % of women with PCOS had not been diagnosed. Between 2.2% and 26.7% of women within the age bracket 15 to 44 years have PCOS. 

Causes of PCOS

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown though some doctors believe that high male hormones level prevent ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally. 

 Factors that might play a role include:- 

  1. Heredity.

  2. Excess androgen.

  3. Excess insulin.

  4. Low-grade inflammation.

Clinical Manifestations and diagnosis 

Signs and symptoms often develop during puberty, around the time of the first menstrual period. May also develop later sometimes, in response to considerable weight gain.  Signs and symptoms vary, and diagnosis is made when any two of the following are there:- 

  1. Irregular periods.

  2. Excess androgen.

  3. Polycystic ovaries.

PCOS leads to following signs and symptoms- 

  1. Irregular periods.

  2. Heavy bleeding.

  3. Hair growth(hirsutism).

  4. Acne.

  5. Weight gain.

  6. Male pattern baldness.

  7. Darkening of the skin.

  8. Headache.

There is no test to definitively diagnose PCOS . Your medical history including menstrual period and weight changes and physical signs of excess hair growth, insulin resistance and acne are significant. 

Diagnosis is confirmed with the aid of, pelvic exam, blood tests and ultrasound. 

Complications 

PCOS can make it harder to get pregnant and it can increase risk for complications during pregnancy and miscarriage. 

In addition to infertility, the other complications being :-  

  1. Metabolic syndrome

  2. Sleep apnea

  3. Endometrial cancer

  4. Depression

Treatment 

  • It starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet and exercise. Losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can help improve your symptoms if you are overweight.

  • Pay attention to your diet. Low-carbohydrate diets are effective for both weight loss and lowering insulin levels.

  • Fruits, vegetables and whole grains help regulate the menstrual cycle better than a regular weight loss diet.

  • Moderate intensity exercise for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week can be helpful to lose weight and improve ovulation and insulin levels

  • PCOS treatment focuses on managing your individual concerns, such as infertility, hirsutism, acne or obesity.

Medication 

  • Medication such as combined birth control pills and progestin therapy are used to regulate cycles.

  • Clomiphene, Letrozole, Metformin, Gonadotropin help you ovulate. 

  • Birth control pill, Spironolactone, Eflornithine and Electrolysis to reduces excessive hair growth.

The most important thing to know about PCOS is that the complications are very real and thus becomes important to take steps to stay healthy. 

Talk to your doctor, follow exercise and diet program and take medication as directed. These are all recommended regimens for controlling PCOS. 

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