We often talk about beauty, makeup and fashion but we seldom discuss the severe issues that have a significant effect on our health. Having said that women need to pay more attention to their wellness- even more important is to be aware of gynecological health. Today, I am discussing a prevalent feminine problem- PCOS and its causes, symptoms & treatment. Read on to know more.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a common hormonal problem in women. As the name suggests, it causes many small cysts to grow on or around ovaries. PCOS can cause problems with periods, interfere with a woman’s fertility and can make it difficult to get pregnant. It can also lead to unwanted changes in looks and have a toll on overall health. Depending on the severity of PCOS, the cysts can be malign and benign. Benign cysts usually do not interfere with bodily functions. However, if the cysts are malign in nature they require immediate treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment of malign cysts can help prevent long-term problems.
What causes PCOS?
PCOS is caused when reproductive hormones go out of balance. Every month ovaries release an egg that causes ovulation and hence completes the menstrual cycle. When reproductive hormones go out of balance ovaries may stop producing egg or the egg is not released at the time of ovulation. In both these cases, the periods become irregular and painful. With PCOS, some women also experience heavy discharge during periods that makes them feel exhausted and ill.
Genetics also play an important role in. Sometimes, if your mother or someone at your mother’s or father’s side has PCOS it is highly likely that it will be passed to you. The other two main factors that are believed to cause PCOS are:
High levels of androgens: Every woman’s body produces estrogens or ‘female hormones’ and androgens or ‘male hormones’. For the proper function of the body, the number of estrogens produced should be more than the number of androgens. Androgens are only required to control the development of male traits such as facial hair, etc. But when the body starts producing more androgens than estrogens, this interferes with the ovaries function to release an egg and thus makes the periods irregular.
High levels of insulin: Insulin resistance is another alleged cause of PCOS. Insulin is responsible for digestion but when the body goes resistant to insulin the food does not get digested properly. This leads to overweight and may cause PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS
The following are the symptoms of PCOS but it is not necessary that if you have any or all of these symptoms you may definitely have PCOS problem. Doctors refer hormonal tests to clinically diagnose PCOS.
Irregular or missed menstrual periods: Women with PCOS may not follow a certain menstrual cycle. Their periods sometimes get delayed or missed or really close together.
Excessive facial hair: PCOS often causes excessive growth of facial hair on chin, upper lips, side locks, etc.
Acne: Sometimes facial acne i.e. painful and red zits are also one of the side effects of PCOS.
Obesity or continuous weight gain: As the body becomes resistant to insulin digestion becomes a problem, and this leads to weight gain.
Infertility: As menstrual cycle becomes irregular and ovulation gets impacted, it becomes difficult to conceive.
Treatment and cure of PCOS
I am not sure if there is a permanent cure for PCOS but definitely, it can be managed by resorting to following activities or treatments.
Do lots of physical activities such as exercising, brisk walking and sports that involved running/sweating.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle- wake up early, eat healthy food and drink lots of water.
Medicines- Medical treatment provides speedy relief from this common problem. Medicines like Yerovac & Activiz help in the treatment of PCOS. These medicines are approved by FDA and claim not to have side effects and steroids. You and your doctors should discuss the severity of PCOS and agree to a medicinal treatment.
Read more about PCOS/PCOD and its treatment here.
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