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What you should know about Polycystic ovary syndrome?

Have you ever heard about Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? If you are a woman facing scanty menstrual flow, acne, weight gain, and so on, you might be on the verge ofexperiencing PCOS.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the contributors towards female infertility. It’s a hormonal disorder which enlarges the ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. According toWorld Health Organization (WHO) 2012 report, over 116 million women (3.4%) are affected by PCOS globally.The rate for PCOS among women ranges between 2.2% to as high as 26% on a global scale.

In India alone, the prevalence of PCOS is 22.5% as per the Rotterdam criteria, and 10.7% according to Androgen Excess Society criteria (2021) respectively.

Superstitions, prejudices, and unethical ideas are prevalent in many Indian households. Discussions regarding PCOS and menstruation are still considered taboo in this country. One of the reasons for the high occurrence of PCOS among Indian women is that they lack the necessary expertise to deal with this condition. Proper education about PCOS needs to be administered among the Indian ménage. The following are some of the PCOS symptoms that a woman should be aware of in order to determine whether or not she has PCOS:

  1. Enlarged ovaries with many cysts
  2. Missed or irregular periods
  3. Excess skin on the neck or armpits
  4. Weight gain, especially around the abdomen
  5. Excess body hair
  6. Baldness or thinning hair
  7. Acne or oily skin
  8. Dark or thick skin patches on the back of the neck, under arms and breasts
  9. Infertility

The exact cause for PCOS phenomenon is still unclear. One of the studies conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham showed that PCOS is, at least in part, discerned by genes. There might be several reasons for the occurrence of PCOS, be it genes or any other mechanism, but it can prove to be fatal for a woman at any age (between 15 and 44). Some of the negative effects PCOS can have on a woman’s health are:

  1. Metabolic syndrome

PCOS is known to cause obesity in the majority of women diagnosed with it. It can lead to high blood sugar and high or low cholesterol, and these factors together are called metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome increases the risk for diabetes, stroke, and heart disease in PCOS women.

  1. Depression

Many women with PCOS experience depression or anxiety due to hormonal fluctuations. These changes can lead to mood swings and negative thinking.

  1. Infertility

PCOS can be one of the reasons for infertility in women. This is the time when a woman is not ovulating and her eggs don’t get fertilised.

  1. Endometrial Cancer

Endometrial cancer (one of the possible effects of PCOS on a woman’s body) can occur when the lining of the uterus thickens due to irregular ovulation. Without proper loss of the uterine lining during ovulation, it can build up abnormally,and thus cause endometrial cancer in some cases.

  1. Sleep apnea

PCOS can develop a condition called Sleep apnea in women. This disorder is associated with irregular breathing, therebydisrupting a person’s sleep.

Sleep apnea can often be seen in overweight women, especially if they have PCOS.

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) begins with introducing lifestyle changes in your daily routine with weight loss, exercise, and diet. Other ways of treating PCOS include consuming medicines and surgery.

The PCOS treatments include:

  1. Lifestyle changes

Incorporating the combination of diet and exercise into your lifestyle will help in minimising PCOS or beating it to a certain extent. Low carbohydrate diets are proven to be essential for weight loss, and lowering insulin levels in the human body. A few studies have also shown that doing both exercise and balancing one’s diet can help PCOS women lose weight, decrease their risk for heart disease and diabetes, and improvetheir cholesterol levels.

  1. Medical treatments
  • Birth control

As prescribed by a gynaecologist, taking birth control medication everyday restores hormonal imbalance, protects against endometrial cancer, regulates ovulation and relieves symptoms like acne, excess hair growth and others, thus helping in fighting PCOS. These hormones are usually available in pills, vaginal rings or patches.

  • Hair removal medications

Excess hair is one of the PCOS symptoms. It can be slowed down by Eflornithine (Vaniqa) cream. For complete hair removal, laser and electrolysis can help.

  • Clomiphene

Clomiphene is a fertility drug that can aid women facing PCOS to get pregnant.

  • Metformin

Metformin is a drug that controls type-2 diabetes. It also helps PCOS women by lowering their insulin levels.

  • Surgery

Surgery like ovary drilling can improve fertility treatments if others don’t work. Ovary drilling is a procedure that involves creating tiny holes in the ovary with a thin heated needle or laser to restore normal ovulation.

Today, PCOS exists as a major endocrinopathy among reproductive-aged women. If you need immediate care and diagnosis regarding PCOS, seek a second opinion from highly accomplished specialists on SeekMed. For further convenience, you can directly search “best gynaecologist” or “Best Gynaecologists in India” on the web.

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