Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has a prevalence rate of upto 26%, which means that at least 1 in 4 women suffer from the condition. A hormonal condition, it just doesn’t get easier, only you get better by understanding about the condition. With such a high incidence rate, it becomes imperative for every woman to know in depth about the condition and spread awareness to combat it. Here’s shedding some light on the context.
What Is PCOS?
PCOS is the most common hormonal disorder that affects young and middle-aged women.
Women with this condition produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This hormonal imbalance leads to multiple problems impacting overall health and appearance.
Knowing The Symptoms
Not every symptom appears in all and the severity may also vary from person to person.
-Irregular periods/Absent periods
-Excessive hair growth in unexpected places like face, chest, back, and buttocks
-Pimples/Acne due to excess formation of male hormones
-Thinning or loss of hair
-Darkened patches on skin creases like on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts
-Difficulty getting pregnant
-Pain in the abdomen or pelvic region
Despite the name, women with PCOS don’t always have cysts in the ovaries. The 3 main diagnostic features of this condition are:
-High levels of male hormones
-One or many cysts in one or both ovaries
If you have at least 2 of these features, you may be diagnosed with PCOS.
A complete medical history, physical examination, blood tests, and ultrasound of the pelvic region assist in diagnosing PCOS and also in excluding other potential causes of your symptoms. Book A Lab Test NOW!
Knowing The Causes
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome remains unclear. In fact, both genes and environmental factors like resistance to insulin, obesity, excessive stress, lack of sleep, etc., may contribute to the condition.
Treating The Condition
PCOS is majorly a lifestyle disorder. There is no definitive cure, however, lifestyle changes and treatment directed at managing symptoms can help to a great extent.
Weight loss: Even 10% of weight loss results in better uptake and use of insulin by body cells, normalizes increased hormone levels, regularizes ovulation, and increases chances of conceiving.
Eating a healthful diet: Eating healthy aids in weight management, decreasing inflammation, and improving insulin use by cells.
Increased physical activity: Physical activity is related to improved insulin resistance and reduction in weight.
Cutting back on stress: Stress can cause anxiety and sleep trouble. This can further aggravate the symptoms.
Emotional stability: Emotional instability can cause stress and depression which can further trigger various health problems. Learn to let go of minor issues and try to stay more stable in case of major issues.
Getting enough sleep: Average 6-8 hours of sleep a day helps restore your body and mind. Lack of sleep can cause irritability, fatigue, or worsening of mood changes in PCOS.
Consulting an expert: The choice of treatment for PCOS depends on the symptoms (acne, excess facial hair, menstruation-related, and infertility).
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
1. Nidhi R, Padmalatha V, Nagarathna R, Amritanshu R. Prevalence of polycystic ovarian syndrome in Indian adolescents. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2011 Aug;24(4):223-7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21600812