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Things You Need To Know About Polycystic Ovarian Symdrome (Pcos)

PCOS

 

 

All bodies need both “male” and “female” hormones to work right. Hormones are substances that your body make to help different processes happen. Some are related to your ability to have a baby, and also affect your menstrual cycle.

WHAT IS PCOS?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is a condition which affects 1 in every 10 women. In PCOS, your reproductive hormones are out of balance.  This can lead to problems with your ovaries, such as not having your period on time, or missing it entirely.

In women suffering from PCOS, Androgen- often called “male” hormone is increased causing symptoms like hair in places that you don’t want (such as on your face), and trouble getting pregnant.

 50% women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes before age 40 because in such women the body don’t react to insulin the way it should be.

 With PCOS, your body may not have enough of progesterone hormone which can make you miss your periods for a long time, or to have periods that are hard to predict.

COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  •         Irregular or missed periods
  •         Excessive facial and body hair
  •         Severe acne
  •         Small cysts in ovaries
  •         Insulin resistance
  •         Anxiety and depression
  •         Infertility
  •         Weight gain
  •         Male pattern hair loss
  •         Low sex drive

WHAT CAUSES PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Factors that might play role include-

  •        Excessive insulin- Insulin is the hormone secreted in pancreas that allows cells to use sugar, your body’s primary energy supply. If your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then your blood sugar levels can rise and your body might produce more insulin. Excessive insulin might increase androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.
  •        Low-grade inflammation- This term is used to describe white blood cells’ production of substances to fight infection. Research has shown that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, which can lead to heart and blood vessel problems.
  •         Heredity- Research suggests that certain genes might be linked to PCOS.
  •         Excess androgens- The ovaries produce abnormally high level of androgen, resulting in male pattern hair growth and acne.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?

See your doctor if you have concerns about your menstrual periods, if you are experiencing infertility or if you have signs of excess androgen such as acne, male pattern hair growth or baldness.

DIAGNOSIS

There is no test to definitively diagnose PCOS. Your doctor is likely to start with a discussion of your medical history, including your menstrual period and weight changes. A physical exam will include checking for signs of excessive hair growth, insulin resistance and acne. Your doctor might then recommend a pelvic exam, ultrasound or blood tests.

DOES PCOS EVER GO AWAY?

Unfortunately, PCOS doesn’t ever go away for good. The good news is that with a healthy diet, regular physical activity, medication, supplements, and other lifestyle changes, PCOS and its symptoms can become manageable.

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