What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (say “pah-lee-SIS-tik OH-vuh-ree SIN-drohm”) is an issue in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it challenging to get pregnant. PCOS also may cause unwanted changes in the method you look. If it isn’t treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
A lot of women with PCOS grow numerous small cysts on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and avoid long-term problems.
What are hormones, and what happens in PCOS?
Hormones are chemical messengers that set off several processes, including growth and energy production. Typically, the job of one hormone is to signal the release of another hormone.
For factors that are not well understood, in PCOS the hormones leave balance. One hormone change activates another, which changes another. For instance:
- The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making a little more androgens. This might cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
- The body might have an issue using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn’t use insulin well, blood glucose levels increase. In time, this increases your possibility of getting diabetes.
What causes PCOS?
The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, however genetics might be an element. PCOS seems to run in families, so your possibility of having it is higher if other women in your family have it or have irregular periods or diabetes, according to iytmed.com. PCOS can be given from either your mom’s or father’s side.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms have the tendency to be mild in the beginning. You may have just a couple of symptoms or a great deal of them. The most typical symptoms are:
- Weight gain and trouble slimming down.
- Additional hair on the face and body. Frequently women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
- Thinning hair on the scalp.
- Irregular periods. Frequently women with PCOS have less than 9 periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
- Fertility problems. Numerous women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).
Polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis
To detect PCOS, the doctor will:
- Ask questions about your past health, symptoms, and menstruations.
- Do a physical examination to try to find signs of PCOS, such as extra body hair and high blood pressure. The doctor will also examine your height and weight to see if you have a healthy body mass index (BMI).
- Do a number of lab tests to examine your blood glucose, insulin, and other hormone levels. Hormone tests can help dismiss thyroid or other gland problems that might cause comparable symptoms.
You might likewise have a pelvic ultrasound to try to find cysts on your ovaries. Your doctor might be able to tell you that you have PCOS without an ultrasound, but this test will help them dismiss other problems.
Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment
Regular exercise, healthy foods, and weight control are the essential treatments for PCOS. Treatment can reduce unpleasant symptoms and help avoid long-term health issue.
- Try to fit in moderate activity and/or vigorous activity typically. Walking is a terrific workout that most people can do.
- Eat heart-healthy foods. This consists of great deals of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods.
- Most women who have PCOS can benefit from losing weight. Even losing 10 pound (4.5 kg) might help get your hormones in balance and regulate your menstrual cycle.
- If you smoke, consider stopping. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels that might add to PCOS symptoms.
Your doctor also might recommend contraceptive pill to reduce symptoms, metformin to assist you have regular menstruations, or fertility medicines if you are having problem getting pregnant.
It is necessary to see your doctor for follow-up earn sure that treatment is working and to adjust it if needed. You may also need routine tests to check for diabetes, hypertension, and other possible problems.
It might take a while for treatments to assist with symptoms such as facial hair or acne. You can use over-the-counter or prescription medications for acne.
It can be hard to handle having PCOS. If you are feeling sad or depressed, it might help to speak to a therapist or to other women who have PCOS.