“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal disorder that often afflicts women of reproductive age. This condition makes it difficult to conceive and causes periods to be irregular. Some women get acne or increased facial hair. 

As PCOS increases the risk of other health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, it is important to get the right advice. Women with PCOS can conceive with the right treatment.

Possible Causes:

PCOS is a hormonal disorder in women which leads to irregular periods, infertility and increased levels of androgen, the male hormone. Many patients with PCOS  may suffer from obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, mood disorders, heart disease, high levels of insulin, and may develop insulin resistance.

While the exact PCOS causes aren’t known, some contributing factors that are suspected are:

  • Excess insulin. If cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then blood sugar levels can rise, and the body might produce more insulin. This might increase the androgen levels, which disturbs ovulation.
  • Research has shown that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.
  • Heredity.
  • Excess androgen. The ovaries produce abnormally high levels of androgen, resulting in hirsutism and acne.

Risk Factors:

There are some factors that increase the risk of PCOS:

  • Heredity – a familial predisposition.
  • Stress may be both a symptom as well as a contributing factor to PCOS.
  • Insulin resistance, which increases androgen levels.
  • Overweight and obesity.
  • Women with sleep apnoea may be at a higher risk.

Signs & Symptoms:

A PCOS symptoms checklist is:

  • Irregular periods, usually delayed cycles followed by heavy and prolonged bleeding
  • Polycystic ovaries which means ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs.The ovaries may develop cysts and fail to regularly release eggs. 
  • Excessive hair growth (male pattern), acne, hair loss on the scalp.

Diagnosis:

If your gynaecologist suspects PCOS, a pelvic exam to check for masses and growths would be conducted. Blood tests could be advised in order to check the levels of hormones. An ultrasound exam to check the ovaries and uterus may also be required.

Regular testing of blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol may also be necessary.

Treatment Options:

At Medcare, PCOS treatment focusses on managing the specific concerns of the patient – whether infertility or acne or obesity.

  • If you have PCOS and are overweight, losing weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet can reduce the symptoms.
  • Symptoms like irregular periods, fertility problems or excessive body hair are treated with medications. If you are not able to conceive, then your gynaecologist will decide on further management after thorough evaluation of both partners.
  • A simple surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) may be recommended which involves using heat or a laser to destroy the tissue in the ovaries that's producing androgens, such as testosterone.
FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • Can I get pregnant if I suffer from PCOS?

    A: Yes, with the right treatment, you can successfully conceive even if you have PCOS. PCOS causes a hormonal imbalance that prevents the release timely of eggs from the ovaries, a process called ovulation. Your gynaecologist will treat you to overcome this and normalise ovulation so that you can become pregnant.

  • How will birth control pills or an IUD help my PCOS?

    A: Birth control is a common treatment given to PCOS patients who are not trying to get pregnant. Hormonal birth control pills or a patch or a hormonal IUD can help restore regular menstrual cycles. Acne and unwanted hair growth may also reduce with certain specific class of hormonal contraceptives.

  • How will losing weight reduce my PCOS symptoms?

    A: Many women with PCOS are overweight. Losing up to 5% to 10% of body weight has been shown to regulate menstrual cycles and thereby ovulation by decreasing the insulin resistance in the body, which is one of the main pathologies of PCOS.

  • Are PCOD and PCOS same?

    A: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) are conditions that cause hormonal disruptions in females; however, they are not the same.

    The confusion between PCOS and PCOD occurs because both conditions cause similar symptoms such as irregular periods, acne and excessive hair growth. They also lead to the formation of cysts which disrupts the formation of a mature egg which is released during a woman’s periods.

    PCOD can be treated with the help of a healthy diet and exercise plan. PCOS, on the other hand, can lead to more severe issues like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, obesity, and even endometrial cancer if left untreated.

    Confused about your symptoms? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today for a consultation.

  • What are the first signs of PCOS?

    A: One of the first signs of PCOS is experiencing menstrual problems such as irregular periods or not getting periods at all. You may also experience heavy bleeding when you do get your periods. 

    Excessive hair growth, weight gain, hair loss, or thinning of hair, acne, fertility problems are some other common signs of PCOS. Due to the hormonal changes that come with PCOS, you may also experience frequent headaches, fatigue or even have difficulty falling asleep. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult a gynaecologist as soon as possible. 

    Make an appointment with a Medcare gynaecologist today for an accurate diagnosis and successful treatment of PCOS.
     

  • Can you get pregnant if you have polycystic ovaries?

    A: PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects women in their childbearing age. Females with polycystic ovaries have prolonged or irregular menstrual periods and may face issues in conceiving.  

    Having said that, it is indeed possible for a woman with PCOS to get pregnant by making specific lifestyle changes and taking fertility medication. Losing weight, maintaining a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting proper treatment for PCOS can help increase your chances of becoming pregnant. You can also opt to undergo IVF (In-Vitro fertilisation) treatment.

    Consulting a doctor who will determine the exact cause of your fertility issues and prescribe treatment accordingly is critical in such cases.

    Suffering from PCOS and wish to embrace motherhood? Consult a Medcare gynaecologist today.

  • What is the best treatment for PCOS?

    A: While PCOS cannot be completely cured, it can be treated to help you manage the symptoms better.  Treatment options differ depending on the intensity of the symptoms. The most widely used treatment is implementing lifestyle changes such as eating well and exercising regularly.  

    Many women with PCOS also tend to be obese or overweight. Hence, losing a certain amount of weight helps ease many symptoms and can also help regulate the menstruation cycle. Lastly, taking hormonal birth control pills is another standard PCOS treatment, but only for women who do not wish to get pregnant. However, consult your doctor before taking any hormonal birth control pill.
     
    Want to know how to manage your PCOS effectively? Book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.
     

  • How can I lose weight fast with PCOS?

    A: It has been observed that women with PCOS find it difficult to lose weight due to hormonal imbalances, inflammation in the body, and insulin resistance. Women suffering from this hormonal disorder end up having problems processing insulin correctly, and this is what makes it difficult to lose weight.

    The fastest way to lose weight when diagnosed with PCOS is by restricting sugar and carbohydrate intake and eating healthier. Lowering the sugar and carbohydrate consumption can help you manage your PCOS as they have a direct effect on insulin levels in the body. Making these lifestyle changes will benefit you healthwise, besides helping you lose weight even with PCOS.

    For effective management of PCOS, book an appointment with a Medcare specialist today.
     

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