PCOS: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And More

The disorder known as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) results in irregular menstrual cycles because monthly ovulation does not take place and levels of androgens (male hormones) are increased.

Approximately five to ten percent of women have the disease.

Women with PCOS tend to be overweight or obese in general, but not always.

They also have a higher-than-average risk of developing diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea.

Fertility drugs may be required to start ovulation in PCOS women who desire to get pregnant.

Even while PCOS cannot entirely be cured, several therapies help eliminate or lessen annoying symptoms.

The majority of PCOS sufferers may lead relatively uncomplicated lives. In this article, we will be looking at all about PCOS.

A woman with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) will experience hormonal imbalance during her reproductive years (between ages 13 and 50).

Increased levels of male hormones could cause women to have irregular ovulation that makes it difficult to get pregnant, skip menstrual cycles, and experience abnormal hair growth on their faces and bodies at the same time.

Over time, this may result in heart disease and diabetes. PCOS is a significant medical issue that needs to be treated significantly with the appropriate medical care. Many women do not even realize they have PCOS.

Women who have been diagnosed with PCOS would regularly examine their health to prevent any concerns down the road. Many complicated health problems may result from untreated PCOS in the future.

Causes Of PCOS

Since the origin of PCOS is unknown, medical professionals refer to it as a syndrome rather than a disease.

Doctors often speculate that the complicated interactions between androgens, the ovaries, insulin, and other hormones lead to PCOS.

Hormonal imbalance, insulin dysfunction, and the development of ovarian cysts are all caused by the complex interactions of hormones.

The body creates more insulin because it is useless, which leads to a chain reaction of issues including a high chance of developing diabetes and high cholesterol.

Androgens like testosterone are frequently produced in excess by PCOS-affected women.

Although androgens are thought of as male hormones, both men and women have them.

Even though the etiology of PCOS is unknown, some factors could increase your risk of getting it.

Compared to other women, obese women and those with a family history of PCOS have a higher risk of getting the condition.

Symptoms Of PCOS

  • Irregular Periods

    Because PCOS women do not ovulate, they frequently experience skipped or irregular periods.

    Period irregularities are a typical indication of PCOS. For instance, you might go more than 35 days between periods and have fewer than 8 periods each year.

    Some women may experience very strong menstrual bleeding.

  • Excessive Androgen

    Physical manifestations of elevated levels of male hormone may include abundant facial and body hair also known as hirsutism, as well as occasionally male-pattern baldness and severe acne.

  • Fatigue

    With PCOS, many women experience increased fatigue and poor energy. The cause of the exhaustion may be related to problems like inadequate sleep.
  • Infertility

    The main factor for female infertility is PCOS. But not all PCOS sufferers are the same.

    While some women may require fertility treatments, others could get pregnant on their own.

  • Sleep Issues

    Women with PCOS frequently complain about issues like poor sleep or incontinence.

    Many factors might interfere with sleep, but PCOS has been connected to a condition known as sleep apnea.

    A woman who has sleep apnea will briefly cease breathing while they are asleep.

    This implies that despite sleeping, you do not feel rested when you wake up. Additionally, you may have problems falling asleep.

  • Depression

    Your emotions might be severely impacted by both hormonal changes and symptoms like uncontrollable hair growth. Many women who have PCOS may end up anxious and depressed.

  • Acne

    Acne issues may result from androgen-related hormonal changes. On the face, upper back, and chest, male hormones could make the skin oilier than usual and lead to acne breakouts.

Diagnosis Of PCOS

There is no specific available to identify PCOS. Your doctor would start by conducting a comprehensive physical examination, which will include a pelvic exam to check for swollen or enlarged ovaries.

A vaginal ultrasound may also be performed on you to check for other abnormalities and look for cysts on your ovaries.

In addition, your doctor will note your medical background and inquire about any symptoms you may be having.

You might also have several blood tests to measure your hormone and sugar levels.

An endocrinologist, a medical professional who focuses on hormonal diseases, does a physical examination to identify PCOS.

He or she examines you for more hair on your face and body, acne, thinning hair on your scalp, and other signs of elevated androgen levels.

Your medical history, particularly the regularity of your menstrual cycle, is another question the doctor may ask you.

Additionally, he or she may request the following tests,

  • Blood Test

    The levels of androgens in your blood, such as testosterone, which are frequently greater in PCOS-affected women, may be checked by your doctor.

    Your insulin levels are typically raised in women with the illness.

    The ovulation-related hormones follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and progesterone may also be measured by your doctor. This will let your doctor know if you are ovulating.

  • Pelvic Ultrasound

    To check for ovarian cysts, your doctor may advise a pelvic ultrasound, a procedure that employs sound waves to produce images of the ovaries and the uterus on a computer screen.

    However, among PCOS women who are taking birth control tablets, this test might not detect ovarian cysts.

PCOS Treatment

PCOS is incurable. Lifestyle modifications like exercise and weight loss may be part of the treatment.

Birth control tablets may assist with excessive hair growth, acne, and period irregularity.

Metformin and anti-androgens may also be helpful. Additional conventional methods of hair removal and treatment for acne may be employed.

Metformin, clomiphene, and weight loss are measures to increase fertility. Some women use in vitro fertilization when other options are ineffective.

PCOS is primarily treated with medication and lifestyle modifications. Treatment objectives could be categorized in the following ways:

The absence of significant clinical trials comparing various treatments on a wide scale is one of the main issues driving the discussion.

Some treatments typically have less dependable results, which might lead to inconsistent findings.

Because they treat what is thought to be the underlying cause, general therapies that lower weight or insulin resistance may be helpful for all these goals.

Appropriate assistance could be helpful as PCOS seems to cause severe mental suffering.

Conclusion

Once you receive a diagnosis for a medical issue that has the potential to alter your life, you will naturally want to educate yourself as much as you could about it. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a prime illustration.

A woman’s health with PCOS could be impacted by their metabolism issues and hormonal imbalance.

Women who are their reproductive age often experience PCOS, which may cause symptoms like acne, irregular periods, weight gain, and thinning hair.

The management of your specific issues, such as acne, obesity, infertility, irregular periods, and hirsutism, is the emphasis of PCOS treatment.

Changes in lifestyle, such as healthy food, regular exercise, and weight loss, typically come first in PCOS treatment.

Even a small 5-10% body weight loss could influence your menstrual cycle. Also talking to a gynecologist is a must.