What is PCOS? Symptoms, Effects and Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome commonly known as PCOS is a condition where a woman has few, long or unusual monthly periods. The condition results in having too much androgen hormone and fluid sacs develop on the eggs preventing the regular release of eggs.PCOS prevalence in the United States is between 6% and 12%, this is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PCOS Symptoms 

The most common symptom of PCOS is irregular or absent monthly periods.

Acne-It is characterized by red pimples on the skin mostly on the face that develops when sebum and dead skin plug the hair follicles. 

PCOS can cause  acne on the face
PCOS can cause acne on the face

Excess body hair or facial hair growth.

Obesity or easy weight gain.

Infertility or reduced fertility.

Scalp hair loss.

Polycystic ovaries can be seen on ultrasound. Polycystic ovaries have a high number of fluid-filled sacs also known as follicles in the ovary, usually twelve or more.

PCOS Diagnosis

To diagnose PCOS, one can take blood tests to test for hormone levels and determine if they have elevated levels of male sex hormones(androgens) or any other hormonal imbalance in the body.

You can also take a medical history; women whose immediate family members have PCOS are more likely to have the condition.

Long-term Effects of PCOS 

If there is a longstanding thickening of the womb lining, women are likely to have endometrial cancer.

women with PCOS are likely to develop endometriosis
women with PCOS are likely to develop endometrial cancer

Blood fat abnormalities-abnormal levels of fats in the blood can cause fat deposits in the arterial wall that may cause complications in blood vessels.

Insulin resistance: This happens when cells in your muscles don’t respond well to insulin and can’t absorb glucose in your blood.

Women who are obese are likely to have an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Treatment Of PCOS 

Change in diet and physical activity.

physical activity reduces chances of PCOS
physical activity reduces symptoms of PCOS

Maintaining a healthy diet and more activity can help you shed weight and lessen the symptoms. These can also help your body use the insulin effectively as well as lower the sugar levels which will in turn help you ovulate and increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

If you don’t intend to fall pregnant, you can use birth control pills to lower the male hormone; androgen in your body, reduce acne as well as control your menstrual cycle.

Medications that can cause ovulation 

Those suffering from PCOS can take medications that will cause ovulation drugs like Clomiphene Citrate (CC), Dopamine agonists, and Gonadotropins to help release the eggs normally. 

These medications have risks of increasing the chances of multiple births. They can also cause ovarian hyperstimulation; when the ovaries release excessive hormones which can cause symptoms like pelvic pain.

Medication for Diabetes 

Diabetes medication like Metformin is used to lower insulin resistance for people suffering from PCOS, help you ovulate regularly, and also reduce slow hair growth.

Can I Get Pregnant With PCOS?

women suffering from PCOS can fall pregnant
women suffering from PCOS can fall pregnant

Yes, one can get pregnant with PCOS although the condition lowers the chances of falling pregnant and increases the risk for certain pregnancy complications. Women with the condition can get pregnant with the help of a healthcare provider who can provide them with a treatment plan that can help them ovulate and also help increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

How To Prevent PCOS 

There’s not a single specific way to prevent the condition however, you can take some steps to alleviate symptoms. Some of the steps you can take include exercising regularly, eating food rich in nutrients, and managing your weight.

Read Also: Does Sex Reduce Weight? Myths About Sex That Most People Believe

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