Beware of the PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)!

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome of PCOS is a hormonal disorder that leads to enlargement of the ovaries and formation of cysts on the outer edges. According to a latest study, about 7 out of 10 women are suffering from this disorder and are bearing the brunt of the consequences.

PCOS

No doubt PCOS is treatable with medical assistance, but in order to know what is wrong with your body and what all those signs are about, it is necessary for you to have knowledge of this particular disorder.

Causes

PCOS can happen due to several reasons.

1. Hormonal imbalance – Every female body generates male hormones also but in a limited quantity. PCOS happens when due to imbalance, the body starts producing male sex hormones more than required, which leads to acne, growth of body and facial hair and difficulty in ovulating.

2. Insulin resistance and lifestyle – Our body produces insulin to fight the glucose levels in the body. When it fails to utilize that insulin, the levels of the same grow and in turn increase the production of male hormones which lead to acne, facial and body hair growth and difficulty in ovulation. The insulin resistance can very easily be caused because of a faulty lifestyle. If a woman is overweight, then her chances of having insulin resistance also increase.

3. Family history – Women with immediate female relatives who have PCOS have about 50 percent chances of having PCOS.

Symptoms

Symptoms may vary from mild to severe, depending on the person.

1. Periods – Some of the women with PCOS may not have a problem with their periods but the release of male hormones(androgens) in excess and insulin resistance is known to cause an obstruction in the menstrual cycle. It could either make your periods irregular or stop them altogether, which will affect ovulation too.

2. Excess hair – Women with PCOS often feel the growth of their facial and body hair has increased and that is because of high levels of androgens. The excess hair is usually thicker and harder and grows in places which are more usual for men, like – chin, upper lip, chest, thighs, nipples, lower abdominal region.

3. Hair loss – While some experience excess hair growth, others experience hair loss or thinning of scalp hair because of PCOS.

4. Acne – Higher level of androgen leads to increase in the size of oil producing glands, which can lead to acne. The acne caused by PCOS is usually severe and of a higher level than caused by puberty, etc.

5. Fertility level – Due to insulin resistance and high level of androgen, the ovulation gets affected which means reduced fertility in the female body. Because the ovulation happens irregularly or stops completely, the chances of the woman getting pregnant also reduce marginally.

6. Depression – PCOS also causes a lot of psychological effects like depression and anxiety. The changes in the hormones and body, lead to depression and have a great impact on the mood. Apart from this, the increased weight because of PCOS can cause irritability, also.

As scary as it sounds, PCOS is completely treatable with medical assistance and diagnosis after proper lab tests. It might last for years or for a short while but seeing a doctor is important to reduce the effect as much as possible. With a proper diet, exercise and medication, a person can live a healthy life after fighting this disorder. With the increased intake of junk food and lack of proper sleep, PCOS is quite common nowadays, and hence it is important that you keep checking yourself for symptoms.

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