What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? Symptoms, Detection & Treatment

Women have to go through a lot of physical and mental hardship throughout their lives compared to men. This includes period pains and childbirth which are experiences that are said to be unimaginable for any man. These aren’t the only pains women have to go through as it known that a widespread health problem in women of childbearing ages is having PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome).

PCOS causes an imbalance in the woman’s hormone production which leads to issues in ovaries which can lead to menstrual periods that become irregular or are completely missed. This is a big problem for many women as it can lead to cyst development as well as infertility due to the imbalance in hormone levels in the body.

What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

This article works to help the general population better understand this health problem and some of the basic details we should all be aware of regarding PCOS.

Do 10% Of Women Really Have To Deal With PCOS?

Yes, according to a recent study, women between 15 and 44 of childbearing age have the highest risk of having PCOS which ranges from 5% to 10%. However, PCOS can be a health problem for any woman who has gone through puberty.

A majority of these women often find out their PCOS status when they have difficulty getting pregnant in their 20s and 30s. The chances of having Polycystic ovary syndrome are higher if you have someone in your family who has it but can affect any woman, regardless of race or ethnicity.

What Are The Reasons For Women To Have PCOS?

While the actual cause of PCOS has not yet been discovered, two factors have been found to play a crucial factor in raising the chance of women having this health problem:

  • Elevated Insulin Level: Women with PCOS are known to have higher than average insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes. This is especially true for women who are overweight or obese.
  • Elevated Androgen Hormone Levels: These male hormones can have elevated levels in women with PCOS which can lead to irregular menstrual cycles as well as acne and unwanted hair growth.

What Are The Known Signs Of Having PCOS?

  • Irregular Menstrual Period: Periods can come as often as 21 days or become rare with fewer than 8 periods a year. Some women experience their periods stopping altogether.
  • Weight Gain: PCOS can cause women to gain weight or find it difficult to lose weight.
  • Hirsutism: Facial hair and hair on parts of the body associated with male hair growth are evident for 70% of women with PCOS.
  • Thinning Scalp Hair: Polycystic ovary syndrome can be a cause of male pattern baldness in women.
  • Skin Tags: The health problem can result in skin tags near the neck or armpits.
  • Skin Darkening: Skin under the breasts, near the neck creases, and in the groin can darken in color.
  • Acne: The hormone imbalance can cause acne on the face, upper back and chest.

Signs Of Having PCOS

How Is PCOS Detected?

Since PCOS signs can be due to a variety of health problems, a number of tests need to be conducted to accurately diagnose Polycystic ovary syndrome.

These tests should be conducted by a licensed healthcare professional:

  • Physical Exam: The doctor will observe the physical symptoms of PCOS including acne, skin darkening, hair loss, and extra hair as well as waist size, BMI, and blood pressure.
  • Pelvic Exam: The doctor checks to see if there is an increase in male hormone levels.
  • Blood Tests: The doctor checks for elevated androgen hormone levels along with other health problems with similar symptoms to PCOS like thyroid disease.
  • Sonogram: The doctor will check the endometrium and the ovaries for any cyst development.

What Are The Treatment Options For PCOS?

Studies and research towards finding a permanent cure for PCOS are still ongoing, but there is currently no known cure. However, you can consider treatment options that will help manage the symptoms and prevent potential problems like heart disease and diabetes:

  • Weight Loss: If you eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, you can lose weight and bring your blood glucose levels under control. This will help you improve your periods as well as reduce the risk of diabetes and heart problems.
  • Suppress Hair Growth: Your doctor can prescribe skin creams that can help slow and reduce the hair growth in unwanted places.
  • Hair Removal: You can consider removing the excess hair using laser hair removal or hair removal creams.

Conclusion Regarding PCOS:

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a very bothersome health problem can cause some significant problems including infertility. However, you should know that it is possible to get pregnant when you have PCOS. Talk to your doctor and find out the extent of your condition and create a treatment plan that will help you minimize the symptoms of PCOS.

Talk To Your Doctor About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

For those of you who aren’t sure if you have Polycystic ovary syndrome or are trying to get pregnant with no luck, the experts recommend that you talk to your doctor and find out for sure if you have PCOS or some other health problem that is causing your ailments.

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Michelle is the senior most expert who writes for this website. After completing her graduation and 10+ years of practice, Michelle has been involved and known for a lot of her philanthropy work. Michelle loves spending time researching and writing her papers. She occasionally writes for us and we are extremely proud to have her as one of our editors. Follow me on Linkedin

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