Explore PCOS: Learn more to take charge for a Better Life

Are you looking for a way to reverse your PCOS symptoms? It is then necessary to fix the root cause of your PCOS. It can be tricky, frustrating, and confusing to determine if you have PCOS. Many have heard about it, but only a few understand it. Each woman with PCOS may experience a unique range of symptoms and challenges. All of these, however, can be effectively controlled if one takes charge to explore, learn more, plan well and cultivate a positive mindset to lead a better life.

What is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a hormonal imbalance that can cause irregular periods, acne, excess facial hair or hair loss from the head. Surprisingly, PCOS is widespread, affecting approximately 5% to 8% of all women.

What is the cause of PCOS?

Although the specific cause of PCOS is uncertain, there is one thing that we are sure of- It is not your fault. It is about time to stop blaming yourself. Instead, let’s try to gain a better understanding of PCOS.

In the case of PCOS, ovaries don’t function smoothly and release far too much testosterone. Even though testosterone is a “male sex hormone,” it is found in all of us. Normal ovaries also release testosterone in small quantities, but in PCOS, it releases more than usual.

Every month, the ovaries make follicles, out of which one grows big to be the ‘dominant’ follicle. This big follicle produces hormones and then releases an egg. This process is called “ovulation.” In women with PCOS, however, the ovary produces several small follicles but no single dominant follicle. Hence, hormone levels become unbalanced and egg is not released so ovulation doesn’t occur each month the way it’s supposed to.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

Keep an eye out for the following Polycystic Ovarian Disorder symptoms:

  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods (which may sometimes be followed by heavy bleeding after a few months)
  • Developing thick, coarse black hair on the upper lip, chin, neck, sideburn area, chest, or belly
  • Acne (oily skin and pimples on their face)
  • Hair loss from the head
  • Hyperpigmentation in nape of neck, axilla or under breast
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant
  • Excessive weight gain (although not everyone with PCOS has this problem)

Are there any long-term health effects of PCOS?

Yes. PCOS that isn’t under control can cause plenty of complications and pushes the risk of developing additional health issues, such as:

  • Insulin Resistance may lead to Diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • High cholesterol levels lead to Heart disease
  • Sleep Apnea (brief spells where breathing stops during sleep)
  • Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, such as binge eating or bulimia
  • Infertility
  • Loss of libido
  • Rare- uterine cancer

Do I need to take any tests?

Depending on age, symptoms, and health status, your doctor might recommend one of the following tests:

Blood tests to measure levels of hormones, blood sugar, and cholesterol

  • A pregnancy test if you have missed any periods
  • Pelvic ultrasound – This test creates an image of your uterus and ovaries using sound waves.
  • Doctors occasionally use this test to determine whether you have polycystic ovaries.

How is PCOS treated?

Treatment of PCOS is a multifold approach-

1. Lifestyle modification

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a well-balanced diet

2. Birth control pills

The most common medication for PCOS is birth control pills for making periods regular. They counteract the increased testosterone hormone. However, they do not completely cure the condition, but can help with many symptoms, including irregular periods, acne, and facial hair. They also decrease the risk of uterine cancer.

3. Metformin

This medication helps overcome insulin resistance and hence control blood sugar levels.  

4. Treatment of acne and body hair-

Some birth control pills can help in this. But consulting a dermatologist may be needed if these symptoms are severe.

Is there anything I can do to treat the condition on my own?

Yes. If you’re overweight or obese, decreasing weight can solve many problems. Even losing 5-10% of your body weight makes a big difference and is one of the most effective ways to manage PCOS.

What if I wish to start a family?

While women with PCOS can conceive, it is usually far easier for those who aren’t overweight. Weight loss helps in regulating periods and increases the likelihood of getting pregnant. If you drop your weight but still have irregular periods, your doctor may prescribe medications to help you ovulate to increase the chances of getting pregnant.

How will be my life after PCOS diagnosis?

With PCOS, it is possible to live an independent and regular life. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Treatments will ease your symptoms and protect you from contracting other ailments.

If you’re anxious or worried, or have an eating disorder, it is advisable to consult your doctor. Regular doctor visits aid in the early detection of the symptoms, allowing you to manage them before they progress to an advanced stage.

We understand that living with PCOS is not easy, but the right mindset and proper planning go a long way. Don’t get sidetracked by challenges. Instead, you should charge ahead with confidence.

If you experience any symptoms related to PCOS, don’t delay consulting your doctor. Receiving the proper medical treatment and care is the only way to steer clear of any related medical complications.

For consultation and assistance, you can reach us at www.ssbhealthcare.com

To book an appointment, contact us at +91-9540 114 114.

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SSB Heart and Multispecialty Hospital