PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome

PCOS! Can it turn more dangerous than you imagined?

Having trouble getting pregnant? Probably, you are one of the 9% of young Indian women struck with PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome. The term PCOS has been in the spotlight in the gynec world as one of the common causes of female infertility. But a very few know that it is a lot more than that.

The article is a comprehensive summary of all that you need to know about how the imbalance of hormones disrupts the functioning of ovaries and overall well-being.


PCOS- in brief

Women affected with PCOS produce male hormones more than the normal limits.  the victim may exhibit two or all of the following conditions

  1. Ovaries with fluid-filled sacs called cysts, which has led to the name Polycystic ovaries (meaning multiple cysts)
  2. Irregular or no menstruation. The female has lesser than 9 periods a year, with abnormal blood flow.
  3. Higher levels of the male hormone can result in severe acne, facial and body hair (Hirsutism) and male- pattern baldness.


What happens in a normal ovary?

Every month, an average woman experiences ” the release of an egg” from the ovaries (ovulation process) which is either fertilized by a man’s sperm or disintegrated to come out as menstrual blood. Female ovaries also produce a group of hormones that help the follicles (or small bags) inside the ovaries to release a mature egg.

In PCOS, the eggs inside the follicles never mature and turn into cysts. Lack of ovulation leads to skipped periods or no periods. It is also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome. Since there is no egg available for fertilization, pregnancy is stopped.


What causes cysts in ovaries?

Unfortunately, the reason for cyst development is not known. But some experts call insulin as the culprit while a few quote genetic reasons behind PCOS.


Role of insulin

Pancreas secretes insulin that enables the cells to make use of the body’s energy supply. When cells become resistant to insulin (or when they disobey insulin’s orders), the level of insulin in blood increases which in turn increases the androgen production (male hormone).


Obesity, one of the causes

Obesity and unhealthy lifestyle can attribute to multiple cysts. But researches claim that even thinner people suffer from PCOS while obese women don’t.


Is Infertility the only consequence of PCOS?

Unfortunately, PCOS doesn’t stop with making you infertile. If the syndrome goes untreated, it can cause type 2 diabetes, abnormal bleeding of uterine wall and endometrial cancer.


When to seek medical help?

Symptoms of PCOS is not always obvious. If you suffer from irregular periods or face sudden weight gain, your gynaecologist may help you figure out the reason behind the abnormalities.

Refer a dermatologist if you have severe acne or pigmentation around your neck, groin and underarms.


Simple ways to help yourself

A healthy lifestyle is a cure to multiple health complications. Consuming whole foods instead of processed can increase your insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing the secretion of too much of male hormones.

Motivating yourself to indulge in physical activities, staying hydrated and leading a well-balanced life can reduce the risk of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Walking 10,000 steps per day or involving in moderate intensity cardio excercises are not only beneficial but also the most entertaining ways to stay mobile.

So, what are you waiting for? Kick start a healthy lifestyle, right now