Polycystic Ovary Syndrome | PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, its symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment option

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS is a condition related to women in which the male sex hormone that is androgen is produced in small amounts through the ovaries as a result small cysts are formed in the ovaries which leads to multiple other problems in women. We have tried to list some symptoms, causes, diagnostic, and treatment options that arise due to this hormonal condition in the latter part of this article.

The word polycystic is made from two words, poly (multiple) and cystic (fluid-filled sacs) which means “multiple cysts”.  That’s why this condition is called polycystic syndrome or disease.

But there are some exceptions that not all women have cysts in the ovaries.

During the woman’s ovulation, the egg is released from the ovary and fertilized with the sperm. If it is not fertilized then it gets washed out during the period. 

Ovulation is a very crucial stage in getting pregnant and in some cases, a woman’s ovaries do not release enough hormone for ovulation. And when ovulation does not occur normally then there is the chance of forming a small cyst in the ovaries. These cysts make the male hormone called androgen. Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS/PCOD have high levels of androgen hormone and also high levels of androgen disturb the menstrual cycle of the women. There are many other problems with PCOS / PCOD.

Medication is always the option for treatment but it can’t cure permanently. It can reduce the severity of the symptoms and some health problems.

What are the main causes of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS / PCOD is not clear. Some research articles say that this condition is familial and inherited from both parents in an autosomal dominant manner. 

Insulin resistance is the root cause of PCOS /PCOD.

Cysts are formed in the ovaries due to the increased level of androgen hormone which causes PCOS / PCOD. This hormone interferes with the normal menstrual cycle and leads to an array of symptoms. This hormone also interferes with the maturation of the follicle and keeps the follicle in an immature condition. As a result, these immature follicles form fluid-filled sacs called cysts.

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrom, PCOS?

A list of symptoms include :

  1. Amenorrhoea: in this condition, the period is missed, or very little menstrual flow, or irregular. 
  2. Dysmenorrhea: In this condition, the period is very painful.
  3. Hirsutism: Excessive body hair and facial hair.
  4. Formation of acne in the face or excessively oily skin.
  5. Pain in the pelvic region
  6. Male pattern baldness
  7. Obesity, accumulation of fat in the belly region.
  8. Insulin resistance
  9. Infertility
  10. Excessive bleeding or prolonged period.

 

What are the diagnosis and treatment options for PCOS / PCOD?

To understand, if this condition is genetic, the Gynaecology doctor can ask for a detailed medical history and physical examination for diagnosis. 

Some Laboratory investigations tests include 

  • Thyroid function tests; 
  • FSH, 
  • prolactin, 
  • and LH levels; 
  • Testosterone and blood sugar levels. 

Before this, non-invasive imaging such as ultrasound can be performed. The classic appearance of an ovarian cyst is like a string of pearls. 

Treatment involves motivating the patient to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Modifications, including a healthy diet, weight loss, and regular exercise, help restore the balance of hormones. 

In addition, hormone therapy may be prescribed by the doctor. Insulin-sensitizing drugs like metformin also help in cases of prediabetes or insulin resistance.

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