Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, commonly referred to as PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Nearly 70% of the women who struggle in getting pregnant have an underlying PCOS. Despite being a common female health issue, PCOS often goes diagnosed for several years.
Are you suffering from PCOS? Or do you want to know more about PCOS? Keep reading because here at ABC For MOMS; we will unfold everything about PCOS – what the disease is about, how does it hinder with conceiving, how is it diagnosed and the management options available.
What Is PCOS?
PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition in which imbalances in the female reproductive hormones leads to the development of cysts in the ovaries. As a result, the female menstrual cycle gets disrupted, and the person experiences several symptoms that lead to several problems.
Typically, the ovaries produce a fair balance of female reproductive hormones called estrogen and progesterone, along with a small amount of male hormone called androgen. Together, estrogen and progesterone regulate the normal menstrual cycle by timely releasing a mature follicle(egg) from the female ovary – a process called ovulation. Regular ovulation helps a woman in getting pregnant and carry a healthy pregnancy. The disturbance of estrogen and progesterone interferes with the normal menstrual cycle, and the woman is unable to get pregnant.
Symptoms Of PCOS
The most common symptoms which a woman with PCOS experiences include irregular menstruation, more than four missed periods in a year, inability to get pregnant, incomprehensible weight gain because of insulin resistance, excessive hair growth on face, chest, back, and hips due to increase in male hormone androgen, headaches, anxiety and depression.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
PCOS has a straightforward diagnosis. Typically, a doctor diagnoses PCOS on the following findings:
- Irregular periods
- Excessive hair growth
- The appearance of cysts (several water sacs filled with immature follicles) in ovaries
- Continuous, unexplained weight gain
- Inability to get pregnant
There is no absolute cure for PCOS. It can only be managed with lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, use of certain fertility drugs, contraceptives, and an anti-diabetic drug Metformin.
The management plan varies from the woman to woman, age, and common symptoms. Through regular treatment and lifestyle changes, it is possible to restore the normal hormonal balance, normally conceive and deliver a healthy baby.