PCOS - Overview, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

PCOS is a disorder in which the ovaries produce an excessive quantity of androgens, male sex hormones that are normally present in small amounts in women. The term polycystic ovarian syndrome refers to a condition in which the ovaries develop a large number of tiny cysts (fluid-filled sacs). However, some women with this condition do not develop cysts, while other women without the disorder do.

When a developed egg is released from an ovary, this is referred to as ovulation. This occurs in order for it to be fertilized by a male sperm. If the egg does not get fertilized, it is expelled from the body during your period.

In certain instances, a woman may not produce enough of the hormones required for ovulation. When ovulation does not occur, the ovaries may produce a large number of tiny cysts. These cysts produce androgens, which are hormones. Women with PCOS often have elevated amounts of androgens. This may cause problems in a woman's menstrual cycle. It may also induce many of the symptoms associated with PCOS.

What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

  • Periods that are missed, irregular, or extremely mild
  • Large ovaries or ovaries with a high number of cysts
  • Excessive body hair, particularly on the breast, stomach, and back (hirsutism)
  • Weight increase, particularly around the abdomen
  • Acne-prone or oily skin
  • Male-pattern baldness or hair thinning
  • Infertility
  • Excess skin on the neck or armpits
  • Patches of dark or thick skin on the back of the neck, under the armpits, and beneath the breasts

What causes PCOS?

The exact etiology of PCOS is unknown. Insulin resistance is common in PCOS women. This implies that the body is unable to properly use insulin. Insulin levels rise in the body, perhaps leading to increased androgen levels. Obesity may also raise insulin levels, exacerbating PCOS symptoms.

PCOS may also be carried on via families. Sisters or mothers and daughters are more likely to develop PCOS.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

Your doctor will inquire about your medical history as well as your symptoms. You will also be subjected to a physical examination. This will very certainly involve a pelvic exam. This test examines the condition of your reproductive organs both inside and outside of your body.

Some of the symptoms of PCOS are similar to those of other health issues. As a result, you may be subjected to tests such as:

Ultrasound This test creates pictures of blood arteries, tissues, and organs using sound waves and a computer. This test is performed to determine the size of the ovaries and whether or not they contain cysts. The test may also determine the thickness of the uterine lining (endometrium).

Blood tests These are looking for elevated levels of androgens and other hormones. Your blood glucose levels may also be checked by your doctor. In addition, your cholesterol and triglyceride levels may be examined.

Treatment for PCOS

A variety of variables influence PCOS treatment. These may include your age, the severity of your symptoms, and your general health. The kind of therapy you get may also be determined by your desire to become pregnant in the future.

If you do decide to get pregnant, your therapy may involve the following:

A change in diet and physical exercise. A balanced diet and increased physical exercise may assist you in losing weight and reducing your symptoms. They may also improve the efficiency with which your body uses insulin, decrease blood glucose levels, and perhaps help you ovulate.

Ovulation-inducing medications Medications may assist the ovaries in producing eggs properly. These medicines are not without hazards. They can enhance the likelihood of having several children (twins or more). They also have the potential to induce ovarian hyperstimulation. This occurs when the ovaries produce an abnormally large amount of hormones. It may result in symptoms including abdominal bloating and pelvic discomfort.

How can I increase my chances of becoming pregnant if I have polycystic ovary syndrome?

While particular fertility problems should be discussed with your doctor, there are some basic healthcare recommendations that may help you get pregnant:

  • Caffeine should be avoided (fewer than two caffeinated beverages per day).
  • Eat healthily (healthy well-balanced diet).
  • Maintain a healthy weight by exercising. Maintain a regular exercise regimen of 20 to 30 minutes each day, four to five days per week.