An Overview of the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an endocrine disorder that affects women during their childbearing years i.e. ages 15-44. It is said that about 27 percent of women in this age group have PCOS. The symptoms include cysts in the ovaries, irregular periods, and high levels of male hormones.

These symptoms affect a woman’s ovaries and ovulation. But not many women are aware of the fact that they could have PCOS. In fact, it may have not even been diagnosed for some women.

So, let’s understand the causes of PCOS and how it can be treated, naturally.

Causes

Doctors have not been able to identify what exactly causes PCOS. They believe it stems from the following three factors in the body:

  • Genes
  • Insulin resistance
  • Higher levels of inflammation


Common Symptoms of PCOS

PCOS can disrupt a woman’s menstrual cycle, leading to many symptoms. Some women experience these symptoms during their first cycles. Others discover that they have PCOS after they gain weight suddenly or have problems conceiving.

Here are some common PCOS symptoms:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Excessive hair growth on face and body
  • Acne on face, neck, and upper back
  • Weight gain
  • Dark patches on the skin
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Headaches

Effects of PCOS on your body

Higher-than-normal androgen levels can impact a woman’s health in many ways. PCOS can increase the risk of:

  • Infertility
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Sleep apnea
  • Endometrial cancer (also known as uterine cancer)
  • Depression


PCOS Diagnosis

As seen earlier, doctors typically diagnose PCOS in women who have at least two of these symptoms:

  • Irregular periods
  • Spike in androgen levels
  • Cysts in the ovaries

Your doctor would also ask whether you are having acne, abnormal face and hair growth, or weight gain.

If the above symptoms are confirmed, a pelvic exam, some blood tests, and ultrasound are done to reconfirm the PCOS diagnosis.

A pelvic exam helps to identify any problems or abnormal growth in your ovaries or other parts of your reproductive system.

Blood tests check your androgen or male hormone levels, cholesterol, insulin, and triglyceride levels to assess your risks for related health issues, such as heart diseases and diabetes.

An ultrasound uses sound waves to locate abnormal follicles or other issues in your ovaries and uterus.

Diet and Lifestyle Tips

PCOS treatment starts with making changes in your diet and exercise routines. These lifestyle changes can definitely improve PCOS symptoms.

Weight loss can help regulate your menstrual cycle and cholesterol levels. It can also lower insulin and reduce heart diseases and diabetes risk. Losing just 5-10 percent of your body weight can show significant changes in your body.

It is said that low-carbohydrate diets are equally effective for weight loss and lowering insulin levels. You can also include Ayurvedic supplements, such as Nari Soundarya Malt, in your diet.

A 30-minute exercise routine of moderate intensity, done at least thrice a week, can help women with PCOS to lose weight and regulate ovulation and insulation levels.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects a lot of women today. But it is also treatable.

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