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PCOS: Diagnosis & Treatment & Options

The term “Poly” means “many” and “Cystic” refers to “cysts”, referring to the fact that people suffering from PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain many very small cysts. These small cysts are also called follicles that develop in the ovary but the eggs are rarely released. Generally, symptoms of PCOS begin during the teenage years around the start of menstruation and can be mild or severe. The extent of symptoms and their severity vary widely among young women. These cysts may become the reason for hormonal imbalance but are not harmful. 

Signs of PCOS 
Some common signs of PCOS can be categorized as follows. 

1. COSMETIC SYMPTOMS

1.1 Hirsutism—excessive hair (and more coarse) on the face, chest, back or other parts of the body.
1.2 Acne- cystic acne, acne on the jawline, acne after 25 years of age, or resistance to conventional acne treatment. 
1.3 Changes in skin thickness, pigmentation, and texture. 
1.4 Weight gain and/or trouble losing weight, and in severe cases, obesity.
1.5 Hair thinning of the frontal area of scalp or hair loss, wider parting and thin ponytail.

2. GYNAEC SYMPTOMS

2.1 Irregular periods—periods that come every few months, fewer than 9 periods in a year, maybe not at all 
2.2 Infertility or impaired fertility due to irregular periods or lack of ovulation
2.3 Ovarian Cyst
2.4 Pelvic Pain

These symptoms combine to adversely impact a person’s physical and emotional well being, lifestyle choices, and may also lead to anxiety and depression. 

What Causes it? 
There are several causes involved in PCOS like, genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormone (androgens). In PCOS, they start making more androgens comparatively. This may cause you to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair. 

How to Diagnose it? 
PCOS can be diagnosed by a blood test like hormone level and lower abdomen ultrasound, analysis of menstrual cycle, patient’s general health and complete physical skin examination. 

If diagnosed positive with PCOS, do not Panic! 
You are not alone! 

It is one of the highest occurring hormonal conditions in women. Results of the above-suggested tests must show at least two out of the following four symptoms. 

    1. Ovarian cyst or enlarged ovary
    2. High level of androgen (male hormone) in your blood
    3. Menstrual irregularities

Treatment and Management Plan
Treatment completely depends upon the symptoms affecting an individual. As PCOS is a multi factorial disorder, effective management through healthy lifestyle and diet can be of utmost importance. If hormonal imbalance is found, then medication might be initiated after consultation with your dermatologist. 

    In general, try to fit in moderate activity often. Walking is a great activity that most people can do. 
    Eat heart-healthy foods. This included lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. Limit foods that are high in saturated fat-such as-meats, cheese, and fried foods.
    You will benefit by losing weight.
    If you are a smoker then consider quitting. Women who smoke have a high androgen level that may contribute to PCOS symptoms. 
    • Medications like hormonal contraceptives (if your periods are irregular), Anti-androgens (for facial hair, Acne and hair fall) and anti-diabetic medicine for weight loss and regulating blood sugar levels can be started.

Skin & PCOS
If PCOS symptoms are causing stressful, unsightly or troublesome skin and hair conditions, Dr. Nivedita Dadu’s Dermatology Clinic is here to help you. We would be happy to make recommendations based on a large variety of treatments and high ended safe procedures available to get you looking and feeling like you again. 
So, stay beautiful and Stay blessed!