HEALTH TALKS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) by Miss Adeoye Precious

Polycystic ovary syndrome, widely known as PCOS, is an endocrine system disorder that affects women in their reproductive years.

A hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal condition that women can get during their childbearing years.Untreated, it can lead to infertility and other complications.

Hormones and PCOS

When you have 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 not getting it.
Your body makes hormones to make different things happen. Some affect your menstrual cycle and are tied to your ability to have a baby. The hormones that play a role in PCOS include:
Androgens: They’re often called male hormones, but women have them, too. Women with PCOS tend to have higher levels.
Insulin: This hormone manages your blood sugar. If you have PCOS, your body might not react to insulin the way it should.
Progesterone: With PCOS, your body may not have enough of this hormone. You might miss your periods for a long time or have trouble predicting when they’ll come

Causes/Risk Factors

The cause of polycystic ovary syndrome isn’t well understood but may involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
A lady is more likely to have PCOS if her sister or mother also has it. It could also be related to problems that make your body produce too much insulin, which can affect your ovaries and their ability to ovulate (or release eggs).

Signs and symptoms of PCOS

If you experience symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), they’ll usually become apparent in your late teens or early 20s.
Some women only experience menstrual problems or are unable to conceive, or both.

Common symptoms of PCOS include:
1) Irregular periods or no periods at all
2) Difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
3) Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
4) Weight gain
5) Thinning hair and hair loss from the head
6) Oily skin or acne

PCOS Diagnosis
No single test can diagnose PCOS. Your physician will start by asking about your symptoms and medical history and by doing a physical exam, and possibly a pelvic exam.
They might give you blood tests to measure your hormone levels, blood sugar, and cholesterol. An ultrasound can check your ovaries for cysts, look for tumors, and measure the lining of your uterus.

 

Treatment of PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be managed.
1) Lifestyle changes
In overweight women, the symptoms and overall risk of developing long-term health problems from PCOS can be greatly improved by losing excess weight.
2) Medicines
Some medicines are available to treat different symptoms such as menstrual irregularities and excessive hair growth associated with PCOS.

Fertility problem
With treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.
The majority of women can be successfully treated with a short course of tablets taken at the beginning of each cycle for several cycles.
If these are not successful, they may be offered injections or IVF treatment.

Complications of PCOS
1) Fertility Problem
PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. Many women discover they have PCOS when they’re trying to get pregnant and are unsuccessful.
During each menstrual cycle, the ovaries release an egg (ovum) into the uterus (womb). This process is called ovulation and usually occurs once a month.
But women with PCOS often fail to ovulate or ovulate infrequently, which means they have irregular or absent periods and find it difficult to get pregnant.
2) Type 2 diabetes.
3) High blood pressure.
4) Sleep Apnea.
5) Depression and mood swings.

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