Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder most commonly found in women of the reproductive age group (15-49 years).The hormonal disorder results in enlargement of ovaries that develop a small cyst on the outer edges which prohibits the regular release of eggs from the ovary causing irregular menstrual cycles.
According to an article on NCBI, PCOS is responsible for 80% of the ovulation related infertility in women.
The exact cause of PCOS is still not known but early diagnosis and treatment can reduce long term consequences
PCOS can have several complications associated with it like
- Type-2 Diabetes
- Infertility, Miscarriage or premature birth
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sleep Apnea
- Cancer of the uterine lining
PCOS signs and symptoms may vary from person to person the one may experience
- Irregular Periods: One may experience Irregular or prolonged periods. One may experience less than 9 menstrual cycles a year, A gap of up to 35 days between the periods and unusually heavy periods
- Increased facial and body hair growth: PCOS tends to increase the number of androgens in the body (Androgens are also called male hormones) which can result in physical symptoms like increased hair growth on face and body. It can also cause acne.
- Weight Gain: One of the most common attributes associated with PCOS is weight gain.
- Darkened Skin on Neck, armpits and groin regions: PCOS also increases insulin resistance and higher levels of insulin may result in darkened skin in certain regions
Hormones associated with PCOS
The hormones associated with PCOS include
- Insulin: Insulin in our body manages the blood sugar level by helping convert cell sugar into energy.PCOS builds up insulin resistance which causes sugar to build up in our bloodstream.
- Androgens: are also called male hormones which are also present in women.PCOS causes an increase in the androgen levels in the body resulting in symptoms like increased facial hair growth.
- Progesterone:PCOS decreases the level of progesterone in the body which can cause irregular menstrual cycles
The exact cause of PCOS is not known; you can be more prone to PCOS if your mother or sister has it.
It may occur if your body produces more insulin due to some problem, Excessive insulin can cause an increase in the androgen levels of the body which can lead to irregular periods.
The treatment of PCOS depends upon your Age, Symptoms and whether you want to get pregnant or not.PCOS treatment includes weight loss treatments which can also help your infertility treatment.
Your doctor may recommend you take diabetes drugs to lower your insulin resistance.
If you are planning to get pregnant fertility treatment and drugs might be recommended.