PCOS: What It Means and How to Cope?
PCOS is a condition that affects women during their years of childbearing i.e. it is common in the age group of 15 to 44 years.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that affects the hormonal balance in women during the reproductive age. It is characterized by generation of higher amounts of male hormones in the body. This imbalance triggers several undesirable effects, causing health and psychological problems.
Today, PCOS is a widely known feminine condition in the world. While it is common to be diagnosed with PCOS, it is better to be informed about it and know how you can prevent it. Read on to understand more about the polycystic ovarian syndrome.
PCOS: A Better Understanding
PCOS is a condition that affects women during their years of childbearing i.e. it is common in the age group of 15 to 44 years. It disrupts the normal functioning of the ovaries and causes complications when trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
To understand how PCOS affects your reproductive organs, you first need to know the function of your ovaries. As you might already know, they are responsible for producing oestrogen and progesterone that regulate the functions of the menstrual cycle. During this process, they also tend to produce some male hormones known as androgens.
When this amount of androgens increases more than the natural levels, it affects the ovaries and the overall function of ovulation. This phenomenon is called PCOS.
Characteristics of PCOS
PCOS can be characterized by 3 main elements:
Irregular menstrual cycleThe normal process of ovulation is disturbed due to the irregular release of eggs. This, in turn, affects the menstrual cycle.
Excess androgenHigh levels of androgen lead to a change in physical features such as the growth of excessive body hair and facial hair.
Polycystic ovariesThe ovaries enlarge and form fluid-filled sacs known as follicles around the eggs. However, many women do not have any cysts despite the name of the condition being polycystic ovarian syndrome.
PCOS Signs and Symptoms
PCOS exhibits several symptoms that become apparent in most women in the early 20s. Some girls also experience these signs in their late teenage years. It is advised to look out for these symptoms and report them:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Excessive hair on the body, back, face, and chest
- Difficulty in conception
- Sudden weight gain
- Acne on the face and body
- Skin darkening around the neck, under the breasts, and in the groin
- Skin tags around the neck and in the armpits
Cause of PCOS
Despite research development in this condition, medical professionals have still not been able to zero in on the exact cause of polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, here are a few factors that are believed to trigger the condition:
GeneticsSome studies show that PCOS can run in the family. One or more genes come together as contributors to the condition. It is possible to have PCOS if your mother or sister has/had it.
InflammationAn increased level of inflammation in the body is regarded to cause PCOS. Women with the condition are often found to have an increased level of inflammation.
Being overweightExcessive body weight can lead to a spike in the insulin levels. This, in turn, can cause disruption of the hormonal balance.
Some studies show that PCOS can run in the family. It is possible to have PCOS if your mother or sister has/had it.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treatment
Unfortunately, PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome cannot be cured. However, effective treatment can help in leading a healthy life. Your doctor can help with setting your queries straight and route out a relevant treatment plan.
Such a treatment plan will include lifestyle changes and PCOS medication. These steps aid in controlling symptoms such as excessive hair growth, irregular periods, and weight gain. In case of extreme effects on fertility, the doctor may suggest a surgical procedure known as laparoscopic ovarian drilling. Advanced polycystic ovary syndrome treatment effectively enables women to lead a healthy life.
While proper treatment can help with PCOS, it also important to implement healthy lifestyle changes as soon as you start menstruating. Following a healthy diet, along with exercising, is found to have a very positive effect in preventing PCOS. If you are overweight, you must focus on losing the extra weight as it can have an immediate effect on insulin and cholesterol levels in the body. The right combination of a healthy diet and exercise goes a long way in managing the effects of polycystic ovary syndrome.