Polycystic Ovary Syndrome : Symptoms, Treatment and What You Need to Know

Women are seen ignoring health in several ways. The outcomes of this negligence or lack of awareness is very intricate. One such impact is visibly seen on their fertility. Personal health and hygiene play pivotal role in a woman’s physical ability to conceive.

PCOS is one such health condition which has been found to affect one out of 10 women in their childbearing age. Let’s discover the details of PCOS so that we can deal with it effectively.

POS

What is PCOS?

PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the common causes of infertility in women. It creates a hormonal imbalance and induces metabolism related problems. This affects their overall health and appearance.  This hormonal disorder affects around 12-18% of women of reproductive age.

Causes of PCOS

The exact cause of PCOS has not been identified yet. However, experts predict some of the following factors at play:

  • Family History: Immediate female relatives of women with PCOS double the chance of having PCOS.
  • Androgens:  The so called male hormone – Androgens are produced in very small quantity in women. Increase in androgen levels in women can stimulate extra hair growth and acne. It is also disrupts the ovulation during each menstrual cycle.
  • Insulin Resistance: Insulin is a hormone which regulates the conversion of food into energy. When the body cells do not respond normally to insulin, condition of insulin resistance gets created. This is common in women with PCOS, especially those who are overweight, follow unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle etc.

Symptoms of PCOS

It is challenging to identify the symptoms of PCOS. The symptoms are diverse and not every woman with PCOS shows the same symptoms. Some of the reported symptoms of PCOS are:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle: Women with PCOS may have fewer periods. It can be less than eight in a year. In other cases, they may get periods every 21 days or more often. Some may stop having menstrual periods.
  • Excessive growth of unwanted hair: “Hirsutism” is seen in almost 70% of women with PCOS. In this condition, women have hair growth in those parts of the body where men usually have hair including their face and chin.
  • Darkening of skin: This is more prevalent around neck creases, groin and underneath the breasts.
  • Weight gain i.e. these women tend to be overweight or obese. Also, they experience extreme difficulty in losing weight.
  • Skin tags some women may develop skin tags (excess flaps of skin) in the region of armpits and neck.
  • Frequent mood swings and depression are seen in women with PCOS.
  • Acne can develop on the face, chest and upper back.
  • Thinning of hair or hair loss on the scalp and male-pattern baldness may be witnessed.

Links with other health problems

Studies reveal that PCOS can lead to other health problems such as:

More than 50% women with PCOS are diagnosed with either diabetes or pre-diabetes (glucose intolerance) before the age of 40.

  • Hypertension: Women with PCOS pose higher risk of having high blood pressure in comparison to women of same age without PCOS. High blood pressure can further lead to heart disease and stroke.
  • Endometrial Cancer: Women with PCOS face problems related to ovulation, obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. This increases the risk of developing cancer of endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
  • Depression and anxiety are common in women suffering with PCOS.
  • Sleep apnea: Sleep apnea is a condition in which sleep is disturbed by momentary and repeated stops in breathing. Obesity couple with PCOS causes sleep apnea. Sleep apnea increases risk against higher cholesterol levels, heart disease and diabetes.

PCOS

Treatment of PCOS

PCOShas no cure till date. Don’t worry; it is possible to effectively manage the symptoms of PCOS. A gynecologist is the right person for seeking advice. Basic information which prepares you mentally is provided here.

1. Personal care and hygiene

Personal care and hygiene is very important for good health. The same holds true for treating PCOS also.

Losing weight: Obesity is a major health concern which is also responsible for PCOS. Regular exercise and good food habits bring relief from PCOS-related symptoms. Weight loss lowers your blood glucose levels and increases the use of insulin in the body. It also aids to regulate the hormonal balance. This can regularize your menstrual cycle improving chances of pregnancy.

Clean underparts: One should keep their private parts clean. You can use facial hair removal creams, to remove excess hair. Laser hair removal or electrolysis can be considered on doctor’s advice.

2. Medicines

Several medications including anti- estrogen medication can be suggested by your doctor. Treatment may vary depending on the symptoms, your plans related to pregnancy, related health risks.

‘Prevention is better than cure’ works best with PCOS. And, in case it’s already there, consult your gynecologist immediately.

 

How is Stress affecting your Health?

Stress

Stress is becoming the way of life. It is easier to say that one needs to take care of health in today’s stressful and polluted environment. Yet, it is quite challenging to actually be able to cope up with the current scenario and be able to manage health successfully.

Stress

What to do in such a situation? Is it right to give up on health while struggling amidst daily challenges? Let’s explore some effective tips which will leave you with few ways which help you reduce stress and restore health.

Effects of Stress on Our Body:

Excessive Fat. With stress, there comes immense craving for food and hence excess weight or obesity.

Excessive Fat

Lowered Immunity. As much stress lingers on in your life, it gradually weakens the defense mechanism of the body and the body becomes more vulnerable to infections.

Increased Blood Sugar. Stress impacts the hormones thereby releasing extra sugar (blood glucose) into the blood stream, which may result in Type 2 Diabetes over time.

High Blood Pressure. Stress hormones affect blood vessels by tightening them and raising blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure and Heart Attack

Risk of Heart Attack. Rapid breathing can be one effect of stress. This may trigger the cause for increased heart rate coupled with high blood pressure. This further damages the arteries increasing the risk for heart attack.

The problems keep expanding and gradually affecting the whole body including problems such as infertility, stomach ache, insomnia, stressed muscles, disturbed menstrual cycle etc.

Tips to Overcome Stress:

Identifying and Accepting Stress. When you keep a check on your thoughts and moods, you’ll be able to identify how stress is affecting your healthy some typical traits or characteristics which are stress triggers. Once you are able to identify your stresses, you can work towards developing an action plan to address those stress factors and be at ease.

Opt for a Walk or a Glass of Water. They say that reaction to stress can be dangerous. Try to walk away from the place and have some fresh air energizing your whole body. If this is not a possibility, try to hold back your reaction by counting up to 10. Regroup and reconsider your thoughts after the steam is evaporated to some extent.

Doctors Help

Seek Help. The eternal truth is that we tend to find solutions very easily for others but we get stuck when it is about ourselves. It is good to share with people whom you trust and those who can understand your situation and their advice can make you see an altogether different perspective of that situation. If this doesn’t work and stress persists, it may be ideal to consult a psychologist to seek assistance in dealing with your stress.

Undoubtedly, we are well aware that stress cannot be way of life and leaving it unattended will have alarming health impact giving way to diseases like high blood pressure, heart ailments, obesity, and diabetes and so on. So, let’s use some of the above tips to extract their essence into our busy, stressed out lives.