The condition cause acne, weight gain and in extreme cases can lead to cancer.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common gynecological problem that affects one in 10 women of childbearing age. It causes hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility.
Do you have PCOS?
PCOS present with variety of symptoms during late teens or early twenties
- Irregular period or no period at all
- Difficult in getting pregnant as a result of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate.
- Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) usually on face, chest, back, buttock.
- Weight gain or difficulty in losing weight
- Thinning hair and hair loss from head
- Oily skin or acne, darkening of skin along neck creases, skin tags.
- PCOS is associated with developing health problem in late life like diabetes, high cholesterol level.
What causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is not known. But often it runs in family. It is associated with abnormal hormone level in body including androgen and high level of insulin. Women with PCOS are resistant to action of insulin in body and produce higher level of insulin that increases activity of hormone like testosterone Obesity and unhealthy eating habits, not exercising are also risk factors.
Is PCOS associated with other health problem?
It may associated with so many health problem such as,
- Diabetese-50 present women will have diabetes
- High Blood pressure- It may lead to heart disease and stroke
- Unhealthy cholesterol
- Sleep Apnea- Due to obesity and overweight
- Depression and Anxiety
- Endometrial cancer
How is PCOS diagnosed?
It need medical history, examination, and different test .It include,
- Physical examination
- Pelvic examination
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Blood test- Check androgen level
- Once other condition rule out, diagnosis of PCOD made if two of following symptom is present
- Irregular period
- Sign of High androgen like hirsutism, acne, thin hair
- Higher than normal blood level of androgen
- Multiple ovarian cyst on one or both ovary
Treatment is not frightening
There is no cure for PCOS. Treatment is symptomatic including plans for children and risk for long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Many women need combination of treatment. That include,
Weight loss- Healthy eating habit and regular physical exercise relieve symptom. Even a 10 percent loss in body weight can resume regular menstrual cycle and improve chances of pregnancy.
Remove hair-Facial hair removal creams, laser hair removal, or electrolysis for removal of excess hair growth.
Slowing hair growth- A prescription skin treatment slow down growth rate of new hair.
TYPE OF MEDICINE TO TREAT PCOS-
- Hormonal birth control, such as the pill, patch, shot, vaginal ring, or hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) is often used to improve acne, menstrual irregularity and reduce unwanted hair.
- Antiandrogen medicine- Help to reduce unwanted hair growth.
- Metformin- may help to restore ovulation.
- For pregnancy planning, ovulating medicine like clomiphene (Clomid) may require.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) -It may be option if medicine do not work.
Surgical treatment –If other option are not effective a simple surgical procedure, laparoscopic ovarian drilling is recommended where few holes in the surface of ovary using lasers or a fine needle heated with electricity is made to destroy tissue that produces testosterone, it restores ovulation for 6-8 month.
To conclude, PCOS is lifelong condition that requires your attention but it’s manageable.