PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) affects one in every 10 women. According to a published data, In India 70 per cent of women suffer from PCOS symptoms but many prefer to keep it to themselves or uneducated about it. Many of whom are unable to complain because of social bonds. PCOS or any topic related to women’s blood is considered taboo in Indian society.
PCOS falls under the category of the female reproductive system. The female reproductive system produces oestrogen and progesterone hormone. These hormones play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Ovaries produce androgen(Male characteristic hormone)) which is present in a lesser amount in a women’s body.
The Ovulation-period refers to the process by which the ovaries release an egg for fertilisation every month.
The ovulation cycle is controlled and managed by two hormones namely – FSH(Follicle Icle Stimulating Hormone) and LH(Luteinizing Hormone).
WHAT IS PCOS –
A number of small follicles called Cyst grow inside the ovaries. An immature egg is present in every single follicle which does not mature and remains so even at the time of ovulation. It leads to irregular ovulation. Irregular ovulation leads to hormonal imbalance in the body. Progesterone level drops and there is a noticeable rise in androgen level.
TYPES OF PCOS ( PCOS Symptoms)-
1)Insulin Resistant PCOS –
This is the most typical type of PCOS. Smoking, sugar, waste, and trans fat are all causes of this kind of PCOS. In this case, high insulin levels prevent ovulation and cause the ovaries to produce testosterone.
Stop eating sugar – This would be beneficial in the long run. Intake of high amount of sugar can cause insulin resistance and might complicate it further. Do this for a period of 6-9 months to see its effects.
2) Pill Induced PCOS – Birth control pills have given rise to this epidemic. Most women who are on birth control pills are not able to notice its side effects for a long period as they start ovulating soon after the drug effects have worn off. But in certain cases even after the pill’s effect has worn off women do not start evaluating for months. Consult a doctor in such cases. If you used to have regular periods before you started taking pills then this could just be a pill-induced PCOS. One must stop using birth control pill if the situation has gotten this far.
3) Inflammatory PCOS(symptoms) – In case you are troubled with regular headaches or skin allergies. If you have thyroid and are low on vitamin D, chances are you might be suffering from inflammatory PCOS.
4) Hidden PCOS(symptoms) – If you start taking treatment for any of the underlying cause then it would only take 3-4 months to overcome it. Your ovaries need iodine. So eat a proper diet which includes zinc and iodine in sufficient amount. Stop using artificial sweeteners -it is one of the causes of hidden PCOS.
PCOS CAUSES –
The exact source of PCOS is still unknown however some progress has been made in this field –
1) GENETIC – Most women find that they have PCOS in their 20’s or 30’s /If someone in your family suffers from PCOS then chances are you might have inherited it from them.
2) HIGH LEVEL OF ANDROGEN – Androgen is responsible for the development of male patterns. Those women who suffer from PCOS exhibit excessive hair growth on their chin (Hirsutism) , acne on face, thinning of hair or hair fall, displaying balding pattern.
3) INSULIN – Insulin resistance is a common characteristic in both obese and lean PCOS patients and the patient’s body cells stop responding to insulin. The patient could have Type 2 diabetes in future.
PCOS SYMPTOMS –
1) DELAY IN PERIODS – An irregularity in ovulation causes a delay in periods. Many patients might see a delay of 2-3 months or a delay of 6 months at most.
2) IRREGULAR PERIODS – Irregular periods is the most common symptom. It occurs when the interval lasts for more than 35 days or ranges in duration. It is also a result of improper diet.
3) HEAVY BLEEDING – Even if you have a normal cycle but notice heavy bleeding. If you are changing your pads every 2-3 hours and are bleeding more than usual then it could be a symptom of PCOS. At times you might have a period for 7 -15 days or more than 15 days. It could also cause weakness in the body of a patient,so yes PCOS weight loss is another thing seen in women.
4) WEIGHT GAIN – An improper diet or poor lifestyle choices along with stress can cause weight gain, eventually raising the cholesterol level in the body. Consumption of junk foods is another major cause of it . It increases the fat content in the body which accumulates in the lower abdomen and it might cause hormonal imbalance which would have a negative effect on one’s menstrual cycle.
5) EXCESSIVE HAIR – You might see a sudden growth in body hair on your chin, chest etc.
6) ACNE – PCOS increases the temperature of the body which gets trapped inside and pops out as pimples. It generally occurs on one’s face and back and might leave blackspots afterwards.
7) PCOS EFFECT ON PREGNANCY – In the case of a pregnant woman, PCOS can cause major complication. In severe cases, it can lead to miscarriage. A PCOS patient is 3 times more likely to have a miscarriage as compared to a normal woman.
Women suffering from PCOS will find it hard to conceive or get pregnant.
HOW TO DIAGNOSE PCOS –
If you are showing any symptoms mentioned above then you should consult a doctor as early as possible. Many women go to a Gynaecologist but one should also consult an Endocrinologist.
PELVIC EXAMINATION – In this exam, the doctor wears a glove and inserts its index and middle fingers inside the vagina to check for an obstruction.
HORMONAL TEST –
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Total and Free Testosterone.
- Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS)
BLOOD TEST – It is done to check the lipid profile which is also used to determine the cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
BLOOD SUGAR LEVEL TESTING – This test is done by pricking one’s finger with a sharp needle and then placing a drop of blood on a test strip. The strip is then placed in a metre which will display one’s blood sugar level.
ULTRASOUND – It confirms the cyst’s presence in the body and helps in evaluating its growth.
1) SLEEP APNEA – It is a sleep-related breathing disorder that is caused by an obstruction in the upper airways. Symptoms like headache, insomnia, loud snoring, anxiety and depression are visible in a patient.
2) HEART DISEASE – With an increase in obesity or weight gain the triglyceride and blood pressure levels rises which can be seen as a warning sign for the heart and could become chronic in the distant future.
3) THYROID – Hormonal imbalance also affects the thyroid glands. A noticeable change in TSH level(Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is visible. Sudden weight gain along with an increase in heart palpitations are few symptoms of it.
4) ENDOMETRIAL CANCER – A rise in oestrogen in comparison to progesterone will increase a woman’s risk of developing Endometrial cancer. As a woman grows older her chances of developing endometrial cancer rises. It’s almost twice as common in women with type 2 diabetes.