Sukanya Mohanty

Health and Wellness Writer


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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is now one of the most commonly heard terms when someone speaks of a woman’s reproductive health. 1 in every 10 women are diagnosed with PCOS every year. Polycystic ovary syndrome a hormonal issue that majorly affects the ovaries of a woman.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome normally affects women who are of childbearing age. It is a hormonal imbalance that mainly affects your ovaries and your body as a whole. The ovary is a small organ that stores the eggs required for reproduction. When ovulation occurs, the mature egg is released from the ovary to be fertilized by the male sperm. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg will be sent out in the form of periods.

In the case of a hormonal imbalance due to PCOs, women tend not to make enough hormones to help the procedure of ovulation. This can lead to the development of sacs filled with fluid or cysts. The cysts then make the male hormone called androgens.

Hormones impacted during PCOs:

PCOS mainly causes an imbalance of your reproductive hormones. Your body makes hormones that affect your menstrual cycle and fertility.

The hormones impacted during PCOs are:

Androgens- Androgens are male hormones. These male hormones are present in women’s bodies. But a woman with PCOS will have higher levels of androgens. This is because of the cysts that are formed due to a lack of ovulation. These cysts go on to produce androgens.

Insulin- Insulin is the hormone that manages and regulates the blood sugar level in the body. If an individual has PCOS then their body might not react to insulin, therefore they develop insulin resistance. Progesterone- Progesterone is the hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle. So, if someone has PCOS their body might not have enough of this hormone. This means they can miss their periods for a long time or have an irregular cycle.

Common Symptoms:
  • [1] Irregular or missed periods
  • [2] Prolonged and lengthy periods
  • [3] Hair loss
  • [4] Growth of hair in unwanted places (face or chest)
  • [5] Acne
  • [6] Darkened skin
  • [7] Excess skin known as skin tags on the neck or underarm region
  • [8] Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • [9] Weight gain
  • [9] Erratic or fluctuating moods

The exact cause of PCOS remains unknown. But these are factors that could play a role:

  • Excess amounts of insulin- When an individual's body becomes resistant to insulin, your blood sugar levels rise which in turn causes your body to produce more insulin. Excess insulin increases androgen production which causes problems in ovulation.

  • Heredity- If your family has a history of PCOS then there is a chance you might get it too.

  • Excess amounts of androgen- If your body produces high levels of androgen, this hampers the process of ovulation.

  • Environmental issues- Lifestyles and an individual’s environment can also cause PCOS.

Treatment plans:

Depending upon the degree of an individual's case, doctors will formulate a treatment plan. But the most common treatment plans include:

  • Change in diet along with an increase in physical activity- Changes in diet along with extensive physical activities will help the body use the insulin effectively produced in the body. It will also help in weight loss.

  • Medicines to cause ovulation- Doctors can recommend ovulation generating medications.

  • Birth Control- Brith control can be given to a patient. This helps in regulating and lowering androgen levels and reduce acne and control menstrual cycles.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a life long illness. It may be difficult to live with, but with the right treatment, the can lead a regular and healthy life.

PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Reproductive health
Illness
Symptoms
causes
cure
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