What is PCOS?
It’s a hormonal issue known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) that affects women during their reproductive years. You might not have regular periods if you have PCOS. Or perhaps you experience lengthy menstrual cycles. A hormone called androgen may be present in your body in excess.
Along the ovary’s outer edge, several tiny sacs of fluid form in people with PCOS. Cysts are what they are. In the tiny cysts filled with fluid are developing eggs. They are known as follicles. The follicles stop releasing eggs on a regular basis.
There is no recognised cause for PCOS. Losing weight and receiving early diagnosis and treatment may help to reduce the risk of developing long-term consequences like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
PCOS is a hormonal issue that affects women during their reproductive years (ages 15 to 44). PCOS affects between 2.2 and 26.7 percent of women in this age range (1, 2Trusted Source).
Many women do not even realise they have PCOS. Up to 70% of women with PCOS were undiagnosed in one research .
The reproductive organs that produce progesterone and oestrogen, which control the menstrual cycle, are affected by PCOS in women. A limited amount of androgens, which are male hormones, are also produced by the ovaries.
The ovaries release eggs that a man’s sperm can fertilise. Ovulation refers to the monthly release of an egg.
The pituitary gland produces the luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which regulate ovulation.
The ovary is stimulated by FSH to create a follicle, which is a sac that houses an egg, and is subsequently prompted by LH to release a mature egg.
PCOS is a “syndrome,” or collection of symptoms, that has an impact on ovulation and the ovaries. the following three characteristics:
- Cysts in the ovaries
- High levels of male hormones
- Irregular or skipped periods
In PCOS, the ovaries develop a large number of tiny sacs filled with fluid. “Many cysts” is what the word “polycystic” signifies.
Each of these sacs is actually a follicle that houses an immature egg. Never do the eggs get old enough to start ovulation.
Estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH levels are changed by the absence of ovulation. While androgen levels are higher than usual, progesterone levels are lower.
Women with PCOS experience fewer periods than usual because excess male hormones interfere with the menstrual cycle.
What PCOS symptoms are present?
PCOS symptoms could include:
- Missed periods, irregular cycles, or exceptionally light cycles
- Big ovaries or ovaries with multiple cysts
- Excessive body hair, especially on the back, stomach, and chest (hirsutism)
- Gaining weight, especially around the abdomen (abdomen)
- Greasy skin or acne
- Baldness with a male pattern or thinning hair
- Small bits of extra skin around the neck or under the arms (skin tags)
- Patches of thick or dark skin behind the breasts, in the armpits, and on the back of the neck
How can PCOS get treated?
A variety of factors affect how PCOS is treated. Your age, the severity of your symptoms, and your general health are a few examples of them. Whether you intend to get pregnant in the future may also affect the type of treatment you receive.
If you do intend to get pregnant, you might receive the following treatments:
A shift in diet and exercise. You can lose weight and lessen your symptoms by eating well and engaging in greater physical activity. They may aid in ovulation, decrease blood sugar levels, and improve insulin sensitivity in your body.
Ovulation-inducing drugs. The ovaries can release eggs normally with the aid of medications. These drugs come with certain hazards as well. They may raise the possibility of multiple births (twins or more). They can also stimulate the ovaries excessively. At this point, the ovaries overproduce hormones. It may result in symptoms including pelvic pain and bloating in the abdomen.
If pregnancy is not in your future, you might receive the following treatments:
Contraceptive tablets. These aid in regulating menstrual periods, bringing down testosterone levels, and clearing up acne.
Medicines for diabetes. To reduce insulin resistance in PCOS, this is frequently utilised. Additionally, it might aid in lowering testosterone levels, reducing hair growth, and promoting more frequent ovulation.
Medications for other symptom treatment. Some drugs can aid with acne or hair growth.
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A review article by
Dr Bhavna Kalvala (Clinical Research Director @ IEEARC Tech)