Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS)- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, known as PCOS is caused by endocrine system disorder which affects women in their reproductive years. In this condition, some fluid-filled sacs will develop on the ovaries. Although these cysts are not harmful, they can lead to hormonal imbalance in your body.

PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder nowadays observed in about 20 per cent of the women in the reproductive age. The symptoms of PCOS can be observed in irregularities in the menstrual cycle, excess hair growth, hair thinning. If not treated, PCOS can be problematic leading to infertility and many other complications.

In some cases, you may have PCOS but not cysts on your ovaries and not every ovarian cyst is an automatic sign of PCOS. Still to this day PCOS remained a mystery.

PCOS Symptoms & Treatment

With the hormonal imbalance comes a possibility for the higher risks of certain health problems like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart problems, anxiety and stress. Add it to the fact that women were already at risk of all these health conditions, PCOS simply takes a toll on both your mental and physical health.

It is important that the condition is diagnosed early as to make sure further complications will not arise. It is better if you know about the symptoms, causes and treatment of PCOS in detail.

Causes

Even though the exact causes for PCOS is still unknown, it may be somewhat associated with

  • Excess insulin
  • Low-grade inflammation
  • Genetics

Genetics play a key role in causing PCOS. If your mother or any female relative have PCOS, there is a high possibility for you to develop PCOS. However, there is no particular PCOS gene, a number of genes are likely to be involved, so PCOS have a wide range of symptoms and appear at different ages in different women.  

Also, extra insulin affects the ovulation ability in women because it affects the production of androgen. Studies prove that PCOS is also associated with low-grade inflammation which stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce more androgens.

Everyone knows sugar is the basic source of energy, which is regulated by the insulin in your body. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas. But if you have PCOS, there will be a case of insulin resistance which makes your body unable to use your insulin levels effectively. This phenomenon makes your pancreas increase workload to meet the requirements of your body.

Risks associated with PCOS

There are a large number of risks associated with PCOS. They are

  • Infertility
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Elevated lipids
  • Sleep apnea
  • Liver problems
  • Uterine bleeding
  • Heart conditions
  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Endometrial cancer

Symptoms

Symptoms of PCOS

In addition to the fluid filled cysts on the ovaries, PCOS has a wide range of symptoms including

  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Increased androgen levels
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • High stress levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Infertility
  • Acne
  • Dandruff
  • Oily skin
  • High cholesterol
  • Fatigue
  • Male pattern balding
  • Insulin resistance
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Changes in weight
  • Excessive facial and body hair growth
  • Skin changes
  • Mood disorders

Diagnosis

No test can determine PCOS singlehandedly. The doctor has to go through a series of exams to identify it. Firstly, a blood test will determine everything about your hormone levels and cholesterol and glucose levels. If your hormonal levels are a bit imbalanced, then, an ultrasound to the uterus and ovaries can determine if you have PCOS or not.

Treatment

There is no definite cure for PCOS, but it can be treated to manage the symptoms which affect the body. This depends on the person wanted to have a child or not in the future. As infertility is often observed in the cases of PCOS, there is also a huge risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Several recommendations can be made for your treatment plan including

  • Birth control pills to regulate hormone levels and menstrual cycle
  • Diabetes medication to manage insulin levels if necessary
  • Fertility medication if you desire to be pregnant in the future. A combination of medicines is used for this purpose including clomiphene, metformin, follicle stimulating hormones, luteinizing hormone.
  • If medications are sufficient to achieve your goal to become pregnant, you may need to consider fertility treatments such as In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or insemination.
  • Medication to reduce the excessive hair growth, but this should be avoided by women who want to get pregnant.

 There are also surgical options which include

  • Ovarian drilling to reduce the levels of androgens produced, by making tiny holes in the ovaries
  • Cyst aspiration to remove fluid from the cysts
  • Hysterectomy to remove a portion or entire uterus depending on the condition
  • Oophorectomy to remove one or both of the ovaries

Home remedies to manage PCOS

Even with some home remedies, you can manage PCOS symptoms and make a great difference in your life. Take these tips into consideration to relive some of the symptoms.

  • Eat healthy and a balanced diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Regulate body weight to reduce androgen levels
  • Avoid smoking
Home Remedy for PCOS

Even though the exact causes of PCOS is still unclear, you can manage the symptoms and make your life a lot easier by diagnosing early and reduce the risk of complications. So don’t wait for the symptoms to advance and immediately consult a doctor.

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