PCOS that is polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common problem in the current times amongst teenagers and young women. It is a hormonal disorder and is a part of the metabolic X syndrome. Today every 5 in 10 women suffer from PCOS. It is a leading issue caused due to obesity, sedentary life and unhealthy lifestyle.
Signs and Symptoms of PCOS :
It causes a variety of signs and symptoms.
Irregular Delayed Periods – Women with PCOS may get less than 9 periods a year. Due to a disturbance in the levels of the luteinizing hormones these women have anovulatory cycles and hence irregular periods.
Hirsutism – This is unwanted hair growth on face and body is a symptom that occurs Bec of the increased levels of androgens in the body which in turn is due to the increased levels of insulin and also increased production by the ovaries.
Facial pimples or acne – Acne is again due to the increased levels of testosterone.
Weight gain – In fact, PCOS leading to weight gain and weight gain leading to worsening of PCOS forms a vicious cycle.
Acanthosis nigricans – Darkening of the skin at the back of the neck and other places is due to the insulin hormone.
Infertility – PCOS is a common cause of infertility too as these patients have anovulatory cycles which mean that they don’t ovulate regularly.
Investigations done to diagnose PCOS:
One needs to get blood tests to check the hormone levels, sugar levels, lipid levels and even the thyroid hormone. Ultrasound is an important investigation as we can see the classical polycystic appearance of the ovaries with 10-12 small follicles in the ovaries
Management of PCOS:
Exercise and weight loss form the mainstay of treatment – Moderate to vigorous exercise is beneficial walking is a great exercise too! Healthy food like plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains are good .Fried and fatty foods should be avoided.
Hormonal Treatment – Hormonal pills that are oral contraceptive pills help in restoring the hormonal balance. For hirsutism and acne, certain other treatment may be required. Metformin is used in women facing infertility due to PCOS.
PCOS is a disease that could stay for life. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle can greatly help in keeping the hormonal balance good and hence suppressing the disease!