Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) affects an estimated 10 million reproductive-aged women around the world. It is important to note that women with PCOS procedure higher amounts of male hormones than normal. This hormone imbalance can cause their body to skin menstrual cycle and makes it harder for them to get pregnant as well.
Though its exact cause remains unknown, experts believe it is a hormone-related condition that significantly affects female fertility and women’s physical and emotional health. Birth control pills and drugs for diabetes that helps to treat insulin resistance can help fix the hormone imbalance and improve symptoms. Currently, there is no known cure for PCOS but it is highly manageable. Keep in reading to learn more about them in detail.
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Polycystic syndrome or PCOS is a condition in which hormones in your body affect the childbearing years, i.e. from age 15 to 44.
It is important to note that about 2.2 to 26.7% of women in this group have PCOS.
However, it is often common for you to not know that you have PCOS. According to a study, about 70% of women with PCOS have not been diagnosed.
PCOS affects your ovaries, the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone.
These hormones help to regulate the menstrual cycle. Your ovaries also produce a small number of male hormones i.e. androgens.
The ovaries release eggs to be fertilized by a sperm.
The release of an egg each month is called ovulation. Follicle-stimulating hormone, FSH, and luteinizing hormone, LH are also produced in the pituitary glands to control ovulation.
Moreover, FHS stimulates your ovaries to produce a follicle, that is a sac that contains an egg, and then LH triggers the ovary to release a mature egg.
However, PCOS is a “syndrome” or a group of symptoms that affects your ovaries and ovulation.
It has 3 main features: Cysts in the ovaries, high levels of male hormones, and irregular or skipped periods.
It is important to note that the word ‘polycystic means ‘many cysts.
These sacs are actually follicles containing an immature egg. These eggs never mature enough to trigger ovulation.
This lack of ovulation alters the levels of estrogens, progesterone, FSH, and LH. Progesterone levels go lower than usual while androgens levels are higher than usual.
Thus, extra male hormones disrupt your menstrual cycle and you will experience fewer periods than usual.
Causes of PCOS
Doctors do not know what exactly causes PCOS, however, they believe that higher levels of male hormones in your body can prevent the ovaries from producing and making eggs normally.
Gens, insulin resistance, and inflammation are all factors that are linked to excess androgen production.
Studies indicate that PCOS runs in the families, Thus, it is more likely that many genes, not just one contribute to this condition.
Al mot 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance, which means that their cells cannot use insulin properly.
Insulin is a hormone that the pancreas in your body produces.
It helps your body to use sugar from food for energy.
When the cells in your body can not use insulin, the demand for insulin in your body increases.
The pancreases, there, produce more insulin to compensate. Thus, extra insulin triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones.
Moreover, obesity is one of the major causes of insulin resistance, Boh obesity and insulin resistance can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes as well.
If you have PCOS, you will have increasing levels of inflammation in your body.
Being overweight can also contribute to inflammation. Studies suggest that excess inflammation is linked to higher androgen levels.
Common Symptoms of PCOS
In some cases, you might be one of those women who observe symptoms around the time of their first period.
However, others discover that they are gaining a lot of weight or they are having trouble getting pregnant.
The most common symptoms of PCOS are as follows:
Irregular Periods: A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month.
In some cases, you might get fewer than 8 periods a year or none at all.
Heavy Bleeding: The uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, so the periods you get can be heavier than normal.
Hair Growth: In most cases, women with PCOS grow hair on their face and body, including their back, belly, and chest.
Thus, excess hair growth or hirsutism is also one of the symptoms of PCOS.
Acne: Male hormones can make your skin oiler than usual. This can cause breakouts in areas like the face, chest, and upper back.
Weight Gain: Almost 80% of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity.
Male Pattern Baldness: Hair on your scalp can become thinner and may also fall out.
Darkening of the Skin: Dark patches on your skin can form especially in body creases like those of the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts.
Headaches: Hormonal changes can trigger headaches in some cases.
PCOS Affecting your Body
Having higher levels of androgen levels can affect your fertility and other aspects of health.
These are as follows:
Infertility: In order to conceive, you have to ovulate.
However, if you do not ovulate regularly and will not release as many eggs to be fertilized. Moreover, PCOS is one of the leading causes of PCOS in women.
Metabolic Syndrome: Almost 80% of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity.
Both of these conditions can increase your risk for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL, ‘good’ cholesterol, and LDL, ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Together these factors can lead to metabolic syndrome and can increase the risk for:
- heart disease
Sleep Apnea: This condition often causes repeated pauses in your breathing during the night, thus interrupting your sleep.
Sleep Apnea is more common if you are overweight, especially if you have PCOS.
The risk is even 5 to 10 times higher if you are both obese and PCOS than without PCOS.
Other Effects on the Body
Other effects of PCOS on your body are:
Endometrial Cancer: During ovulation, the uterine lining sheds.
If you do not ovulate every month, this lining can build up. A thickening uterine lining can increase your risk for endometrial cancer.
Depression: Both hormonal changes and certain symptoms like unwanted hair growth can negatively affect your emotions.
Thus, with PCOS, you may also experience depression and anxiety.
Diagnosis of PCOS
Your doctor can diagnose PCOS if you have at least 2 of the following symptoms:
High androgen levels, irregular menstrual cycles, or cysts in the ovaries.
Moreover, they will ask you about symptoms like acne, face, and hair growth on your body as well as weight gain.
They will also conduct a pelvic exam to look for any problems with your ovaries or other parts of the reproductive tract.
During this test, they will insert gloved fingers into your vagina and check for any growth in your ovaries or uterus.
They might also order blood tests to check your cholesterol, insulin, and triglycerides levels.
Moreover, an ultrasound to look for abnormal follicles and other problems with your ovaries and uterus.
Birth control pills and medications can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and treat the symptoms of PCOS like air growth and acne.
These pills can help restore a normal hormone balance, regulate ovulation, relieve symptoms like excess hair growth, and protect against endometrial cancer.
These hormones come in a pill, patch, or vaginal ring.
Metformin, Glucophage, or fortamet is a drug that helps to treat type 2 diabetes and also treats PCOSby improving insulin levels.
It is a fertility drug that can help you to get pregnant with PCOS. However, it is important to note that you should discuss family planning.
This is because it increases the chances for twins and other multiple births.
Hair Removal Medications
A few treatments can help get rid of unwanted hair or stop it from growing altogether.
Eflornithine, Vaniqa is a prescription cream that slows down hair growth.
Moreover, laser hair removal and electrolysis can help you get rid of unwanted hair.
If you want to improve your fertility, surgery can help you in case other treatments do not work.
Ovarian drilling is a procedure that makes tiny holes in the ovary with a laser or thin heated needles to restore normal ovulation.
Why Choose Dr. Amal Al Qedrah Medical Center
The signs and symptoms of PCOS are more severe if you are obese.
Please see a doctor if you have concerns about your menstrual periods, if you are infertile, or if you feel signs of excessive androgen deficiency, such as excessive hair loss, unusual menstrual patterns, and acne.
You should come to visit Dr. Amal Al Qedrah in her medical centers to get a proper consultation and PCOS treatment if needed.
Other symptoms include difficulty achieving pregnancy, thinning or loss of hair on the head, increased risk of diabetes, higher risk of heart disease and stroke, weight gain or obesity, acne, unwanted hair growth (hirsutism), mood changes, and sleeping problems.
A specialized gynecologist in Sharjah for PCOS can help you alleviate and manage these symptoms, especially if you are trying to get pregnant or regulate your period.
Our specialized team of doctors can help you manage the signs and symptoms and prescribe the right medical treatment plan depending on your situation.
Consult with a PCOS Specialist
Cracks in pregnancy are imperative for some women, while other women do not face it; it’s all due to the nature of their bodies.
Some women have soft and extensible skin more than others, so they didn’t suffer from cracks, while the vast majority suffer from them, so they must give their bodies more attention and care.
Dr. Amal Al Qedrah will help you with your problem.
Dr. Amal Al Qedrah is a leading specialist in Gynecology and Obstetrics offering in-depth insight into women’s reproductive health.
Our clinic applies a patient-focused approach to healthcare, ensuring each patient receives the best possible medical care and attention from our team of specialists.
To treat PCOS, you can actually start by making certain lifestyle changes for weight loss, diet, and exercise.
Losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve PCOS symptoms.
It can also help improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin, and reduce heart disease and diabetes risks.
Yes! You can try a diet plan to lose weight. However, you will need to talk to a dietician that will conduct or order some tests in order to make the right plan for you.
You should visit your doctor if you have missed periods and you are not pregnant.
You are experiencing certain symptoms like hair growth on your face and body, you are trying to conceive, but can’t for more than 12 months.
Symptoms of diabetes like excess thirst, or hunger, blurred vision, or unexplained weight loss a present.