Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. It affects around 1 in 5 women at the age of 15- 45 years. What is more alarming is as many as 70% of the women suffering from this disorder remain unaware and are at risk of complications.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it often runs in families. It's related to abnormal hormone levels in the body, including high levels of insulin and male hormones. In PCOS, many small, fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries and the ovaries enlarge in size.
Symptoms and Complications:
1. Irregular periods or no periods for a variable amount of time.
2. Excessive hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called "Hirsutism".
3. Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
4. Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
5. Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
6. Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts.
7. Difficulty in getting pregnant.
8. Risk of diabetes and miscarriage in pregnancy
9. Risk of developing diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, and endometrial cancer.
Your doctor will diagnose PCOS on basis of detailed history, clinical examination, a blood test for hormones and ultrasound.
Most of the complaints and complications of PCOS can be managed effectively. You and your doctor will work on a treatment plan based on your symptoms, your plans for having children, and your risk of long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Many women will need a combination of treatments, including lifestyle changes, topical agents and medications.
Women having PCOS face a plethora of problems BUT this needn’t hold them back.
Under expert medical supervision, a carefully tailored treatment plan along with high motivation and lifestyle changes will help to manage this condition effectively.
Dr. Neha Pande
Specialist Obstetrics & Gynecology
Thumbay Clinic, Abu Shagara