Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes cysts on women’s ovaries. During this condition, ovaries produce increased levels of male hormones called androgens. Excess androgens can stop eggs from being released and can cause many health hazards. It can even affect the ability to have a child. This is the most common cause of female infertility and it affects 8% to 13% of women between 15 and 44. The cause of PCOS is unknown, but it is said to arise from an imbalance of reproductive hormones. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of further health complications such as type 2 diabetics and heart disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of an ovarian syndrome (PCOS) vary from person to person. It usually begins to develop during your first menstrual but sometimes it also can begin in the early to mid-20s. PCOS is very common and you can find out if you have PCOS with the following symptoms.
Irregular periods– Irregular or missed periods are the most common sign of PCOS. Women suffering from PCOS will get fewer than 8 periods a year or stop having a menstrual period.
Too much hair– Increased level of androgen can produce excess facial and body hair known as hirsutism and nearly 70% of PCOS women have this sign.
Acne– Ovarian syndrome and other hormonal conditions cause more testosterone in the body. Androgen increases sebum production which causes acne. Women with PCOS have acne on their face, back, neck and chest.
Scalp hair loss– Excess androgen can cause hair loss or triggers air thinning on the scalp. Hair loss due to PCOS won’t grow on its own but with treatment, one can stimulate the growth of new hair.
Obesity– PCOS produces too much insulin and the produced insulin does not work as it should. This causes weight gain. Nearly 80% of women with PCOS suffer from being overweight or obese.
Infertility– Hormonal imbalance affects the growth and release of eggs from ovaries. The dysfunction of the ovary causes infertility in women with PCOS.
Darkening of the skin– Higher levels of insulin causes darkening of the skin in areas like the back of the neck, groin, and under the breasts and arms. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans.
PCOS may also run in hereditary, excess weight, and family history. All these aspects are related to insulin resistance. You can diagnose PCOS through an ultrasound of the ovaries and blood tests. Transvaginal ultrasound is used in this process and it also provides a better-quality image. Whereas blood results will provide elevated levels of androgens and insulin of other hormonal imbalances.
If you’re suffering from the following symptoms then it’s better to reach out to your gynecologist. Immediate treatment can provide relief from the symptoms and it can also improve the chance of pregnancy.