PCOS causes the growth of cysts in ovaries, therefore it is known as polycystic ovary syndrome. These cysts may become the reason for hormonal imbalance but aren't harmful.
If diagnosed early, it becomes easier to prevent serious and long term health problems because early diagnosis and treatment can help control the symptoms and prevent long-term problems.
Generally, ovaries produce a small amount of androgens i.e. male sex hormones. But, when somebody is suffering from PCOS, the ovaries produce higher amount of these male hormones. There are possible consequences like acne, excess of facial and body hair and you may stop ovulating. PCOS also enhances the chances of getting diabetes. Therefore, you’ll have problems in maintaining the blood sugar levels.
It is usually difficult to understand whether you have PCOS because the symptoms will be mild initially. The symptoms of PCOS and their severity vary from person to person. Some of the most
common symptoms of PCOS are as follows:
- Acne problem.
- Weight gain issues and trouble losing weight.
- Excess of unwanted hair on the face and body. Often times women tend to get thick and dark hair on other body parts too such as neck, chest, belly and back.
- PCOS can also be a reason for hair loss and you may experience thinning of hair on the scalp.
- One of the most common symptom of PCOS is having irregular periods. Some women might not bleed at all, some may have a very heavy flow. Generally, in PCOS women have less than 9 periods in a year’s time.
- PCOS can also result into infertility as women might have problem in getting pregnant.
- Another major symptom in PCOS is Depression.
Here is what you shall expect from the doctor as he/she diagnoses PCOS:
- They will ask you questions related to past health issues, about the symptoms of PCOS you have been facing, and whether the menstrual cycles have been irregular/abnormal.
- You will be physically examined to find out the symptoms of PCOS like high blood pressure, body measurements to check if you have the right body mass index (BMI).
- Other check-ups such as check-up for blood sugar level, hormones related to blood sugar.
- The symptoms can be caused because of other health issues than PCOS. It is possible that you might have thyroid or other such gland problems.
- Doctor will also check for cysts in your ovaries, therefore a pelvic ultrasound will be conducted. This ultrasound may not be required to diagnose the PCOS as the doctor but it will help in diagnosing in case there are any other problems.
There’s no specific treatment for PCOS but it requires an overall effort. You’ll need to do regular exercise, eat healthy and control your body weight. These measures along with medical management can significantly reduce the symptoms and ensure prevention from any unwanted health problems.
- Start with regular morning or evening walks and make it a habit to exercise daily. Ensure maximum movement everyday.
- Include healthy foods in your diet such as green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains and fruits. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods.
- Most women who have PCOS can benefit from losing weight.
- Quit smoking because it generates higher levels of androgens hence making you more vulnerable to PCOS.
- Medications like hormonal contraceptives (if your periods are irregular), anti androgens (for facial hair, acne and hair fall) and anti diabetic medicine can be started.
If you have tried the natural remedies and have had no success, we suggest you book an appointment with Dr. Nivedita Dadu and we will be happy to help you.