Understanding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a complex hormonal disorder affecting nearly 1 out of 10 women of reproductive age. PCOS can cause a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, acne, weight gain, and fertility issues. It is also associated with an increased risk of developing long-term health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Wondering if you have PCOS or not? Let’s dive into the guide explaining explaining PCOS symptoms and treatmentfor more information.
- Acne: PCOS can cause an increase in androgens, male hormones that contribute to acne.
- Irregular periods: Women with PCOS may have fewer than eight periods a year or have missed periods.
- Excess hair growth: Women with PCOS may experience excessive hair growth on their face, back, chest, or abdomen.
- Weight gain: PCOS can induce weight gain in women, particularly around their waist.
- Infertility: PCOS can also make it difficult to conceive due to anovulation (the absence of ovulation) and hormonal imbalances.
Causes of PCOS
The exact cause of PCOS is still unknown, but it is thought to be related to hormonal imbalance leading to an increase in androgens. These are male hormones that are typically present in low levels in women. However, the high levels of androgens can lead to the development of small cysts on the ovaries, hence the name "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome."
Risk Factors for PCOS
There are several factors that can increase a woman's risk of developing PCOS, including:
- Family history: Women with a family history of PCOS have an increased risk of developing the condition themselves.
- Insulin resistance: Women with insulin resistance have an increased risk of developing PCOS.
- Obesity: Women who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing PCOS.
- Birth control pills: To regulate menstrual cycles and reduce androgen levels.
- Metformin: To improve insulin sensitivity and lower androgen levels.
- Clomiphene: To induce ovulation for women with infertility due to PCOS.
- Spironolactone: To reduce androgen levels and hirsutism (excessive hair growth).
- Weight loss: To improve insulin sensitivity and reduce androgen levels.
- Healthy eating: To regulate insulin levels and maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise: To improve insulin sensitivity, reduce androgen levels, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Ovarian drilling: A surgical procedure to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce androgen levels.
- Bariatric surgery: A weight loss surgery for women with obesity and PCOS.
Word of Caution
It is important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any treatment for PCOS as the best option may vary depending on the individual's specific case. So if you suspect any sign of PCOS or the symptoms clearly indicate there’s something wrong with your normal reproductive system, get in touch with the best gynaecologists tsnow. Based on your previous medical history and current screenings, they can diagnose your condition and suggest treatment options appropriate for you.