Woman Health – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the common problems caused due to hormone imbalance in women. This syndrome causes problems with periods. Getting pregnant becomes difficult when you are suffering from this syndrome. Delays in the treatment of this syndrome can cause other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. This syndrome gets its name polycystic due to the growth of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts cause the hormone imbalance. However, the symptoms of this syndrome can be controlled for long-term.

Hormones trigger some specific processes in the body. Some examples of hormone imbalance due to PCOS are:

Sex Hormone Imbalance

Ovaries produce a little amount of androgens – a male sex hormone. Ovaries of a woman suffering from this syndrome produce more androgens. This can interrupt ovulating, grow extra body hair and acne.

Insulin Resistance

This syndrome affects the ability of the body to use insulin well. This increases the blood sugar level which further increases the risk of diabetes.

Causes of PCOS

Causes of this syndrome are still to be fully understood. However, genetics is a common factor. Therefore, this syndrome runs into families.

Symptoms of PCOS

The initial symptoms of this syndrome are mild. Following are the common symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

  • Increasing weight and problem in losing weight
  • Acne
  • Irregular periods
  • Extra body hair including facial hair
  • Thinning hair on scalp
  • Decrease in breast size
  • Deeper voice
  • Depression
  • Pelvic pain
  • Infertility

Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Here is how a doctor diagnoses PCOS:

  • The doctor will ask questions about the medical history of the patient, menstrual cycles and other symptoms.
  • The doctor will do a number of tests like hormone testing to check insulin, blood sugar and other hormone levels. These tests will rule out other problems causing similar symptoms. Cysts on ovaries are diagnosed with ultrasound.

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Healthy diet suggested by the doctor, regular exercise and weight control can minimize the unpleasant symptoms.

  • Walking is the best exercise. Also, try moderate and vigorous physical activity.
  • Eat a lot of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, beans, nuts and other heart-healthy foods. Avoid fried and cheeses foods and meat.
  • Losing even 4.5 kg of your weight will regulate the menstrual cycle and also get normal hormone balance.
  • Smoking increases androgen level in the body. Therefore, quit smoking.

Visit a doctor for hormone testing if you experience these symptoms.

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