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What is PCOS ?

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. It causes fertility issues in female patients inflicted by it. It can cause a wide range of inflictions like:

Stopping Menstrual periods
Unwanted hair
Increased risk of diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure

  • PCOS Symptoms

    Patients suffering from PCOS experience some of the following symptoms:

    Hair growth in unwanted areas.
    Hair loss.
    Weight problems.
    Acne or oily skin.
    Problems sleeping, feeling tired all the time.
    Trouble getting pregnant.
    Menstrual problems.

    Besides fertility problems, the female patients might get complications that include,

    A risk of developing insulin resistance
    Abnormal cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
    Heart disease and stroke
    Endometrial cancer (cancer of the inner lining of the uterus)
    Sleep apnea

  • Causes of PCOS

    There are different causes for PCOS. Some of them are:

    • High levels of Androgens : Androgens, even though are sometimes called ‘male hormones’, are made in small amounts in most women. It controls the development of male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Women with PCOS have more androgens than normal. If a patient has androgen in higher than normal levels then the ovaries are prevented from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle. It can also cause the growth of extra hair growth and acne.
    • Overweight or obese people
      Those with unhealthy eating habits
      Those who do not get enough physical activity
      Those with a family history of diabetes, usually Type II diabetes

  • Diagnosis

    The doctors can do Polycystic Ovary Syndrome diagnosis by performing the following tests:

    • Physical exam : The doctor will perform the following physical examinations to diagnose PCOS:
    • Measure the patient’s blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and waist size.
      Will look at the patient’s skin for extra hair on the face, chest or back, acne, or for any skin discoloration.
      Will look for any hair loss or signs of other health conditions (such as an enlarged thyroid gland).

    • Pelvic exam : The doctor might do a pelvic exam for signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris) and check to see if the ovaries are enlarged or swollen.
    • Pelvic Ultrasound (Sonogram) : This diagnostic test uses sound waves to examine the patient’s ovaries and also check the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb) for cysts.
    • Blood tests : These blood tests check for the androgen hormone levels in the patient. The doctor might also check for other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such as thyroid disease. The doctor will also check the patient’s cholesterol and diabetes.
  • PCOS Treatment

    The doctor might prescribe the following medications depending on the symptoms for PCOS treatment :

    Hormonal Birth Control : It can make the menstrual cycle more regular, lower risk of endometrial cancer and also help to improve the acne and reduce extra hair on the face and body.
    Anti-androgen medicines : These medicines block the effect of androgens and can help reduce scalp hair loss, facial and body hair growth, and acne. These medicines might cause problems during pregnancy.
    Metformin : Metformin is often used to treat Type II diabetes and may help some patients with PCOS symptoms. It improves the insulin’s ability to lower the blood sugar and also lower both insulin and androgen levels. Metformin might help in restarting ovulation after using it for a couple of months. But it the acne and extra hair on the face or body are not affected by it.

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