Essentially, PCOS is a hormonal disorder that is becoming more common in Indian women and girls during their reproductive years. In fact, one in every five women in India (22.5 percent) has PCOS, with the majority impacted falling between the ages of 15 and 40years. Unfortunately, the alarming fallouts of urban living and a general lack of awareness about this health condition are blamed for this rising danger.
As the name suggests, most women with PCOS have numerous cysts of varying sizes in one or both ovaries. They may also produce excessive amounts of the male hormone androgen, inhibiting ovarian follicle maturation and egg release to cause a wide range of PCOS symptoms.
Additionally, if left undiagnosed or unchecked, the disorder can even lead to the risk of other serious medical complications, such as inability to conceive, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, miscarriage or stillbirth, gestational diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, and in some cases, gynecological cancer.
Common symptoms of PCOS
PCOS can cause several telltale symptoms, although these symptoms aren’t always uniform. Some of the most common PCOS symptoms that you might experience include:
Causes of PCOS
Presently, the exact reasons for some women getting PCOS aren’t clearly understood. However, most experts believe that PCOS is a multifactorial metabolic disorder influenced by genetic, hormonal, environmental, and lifestyle factors that cause increased hormonal imbalances(testosterone) contributing to symptoms of PCOS.
- Family history of PCOS
- Insulin resistance
- Excessive secretion of androgens (male hormones)
- Lack of physical exercise
- Unhealthy diet habits
- Improper sleep schedule
- Chronic inflammation
- Poor immunity
Diagnosis and Treatment
There is no single definitive test to diagnose PCOS. Although your doctor will take note of your symptoms, ask about your medical history, and perform a pelvic exam. You will also have blood tests to measure your hormone, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Ovarian ultrasonography may also be carried out to inspect your ovaries for cysts and uterine lining for tumors.
In terms of treatment, there is still no complete cure for PCOS. However, depending on your age, symptoms, and desire to become pregnant in the future, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes and prescribe medications to help you manage PCOS symptoms and reduce its apparent effect.
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