Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: What you should know?
What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or polycystic ovarian disease, abbreviated as PCOS, is a condition in which the hormones go out of balance in women during the reproductive years. It occurs due to the disorder in the endocrine system.
Women with PCOS will usually have small cysts inside the ovaries. The cyst will form like fluid-filled sacs inside the ovaries. Hence the condition is called as polycystic ovarian syndrome. The condition can lead to infertility as well as menstrual problems if untreated.
Causes of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
The exact causes of polycystic ovarian syndrome are not fully traced. It can happen during the initial menstrual years in girls, or anytime during the reproductive years. You are at a higher risk of getting PCOS if it runs through your family. Some of the known causes include:
- Genetic factors
- Excess production of insulin
- Lifestyle factors
Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Irregular periods and heavy bleeding are common symptoms of PCOS. The symptoms may show up when the girl reaches to puberty. The common signs and symptoms include:
- Obesity: Excess weight gain and obesity are mostly found in girls with PCOS
- Irregular/heavy/painful/missed periods
- Hirsutism: Excess hair growth in areas like upper lip, chin, etc
- Infertility: Women with PCOS will find it difficult to get pregnant
- Pelvic pain
- Mood changes
- Sleep disorders
- Hair thinning on scalp
Complications in PCOS
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome are at a higher risk of developing other serious health conditions like:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High cholesterol levels
- Cardiovascular diseases
- High blood pressure
- Irregular uterine bleeding
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure during pregnancy leading to further complications
- Uterine/ovarian cancer
- Liver inflammation
- Psychological problems like depression, sleep apnoea etc
Treatment for PCOS
PCOS is diagnosed after considering the signs and symptoms, body mass index, blood hormonal level test etc. Medications are given to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce the symptoms of PCOS, and improve the nutrition in the body.
PCOS treatment mainly includes switching into a healthier lifestyle. Total cure for polycystic ovarian disease is yet to be figured out. However, proper exercise and regular nutrition intake can bring down the discomforts created due to PCOS.
Weight loss is very important in PCOS. Losing excess fat will largely help you to regulate the menstrual cycle and put the hormones in balance. You need to switch into a nutritious, high-fibre diet and avoid sugary and junk foods.
Hormone therapy is a major treatment procedure for PCOS. Hormonal birth control pills are prescribed to limit the production of reproductive hormones in women with PCOS.
Treatments are available for women with PCOS for becoming pregnant as well. You doctor will advise you about getting pregnant and the precautions to be taken if you are suffering from PCOS.
If you are diagnosed with PCOS, it is important to do your health check-up at regular intervals as you are at higher risk for developing other diseases.