Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a woman's levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries) on the lining of the ovaries.
- The ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens.
- This may cause the patient to stop ovulating, get acne, and grow extra facial and body hair.
- The body may have a problem using insulin, called insulin resistance. When the body doesn't use insulin well, blood sugar levels go up.
- Over time, this increases the chance of getting diabetes.
Symptoms of PCOS:
Certain symptoms may include:
- Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
- Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
- Thinning hair on the scalp.
- Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
- Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility).
Causes and Risk factor of PCOS:
Exact cause of PCOS is not known, but it is thought to occur through hormone imbalance, and it can run in families through father's or mother's side. Genetics may be the factor contributing to PCOS. Person has high risk of getting PCOS if her mother, sister or any relative have history of PCOS and diabetes.
Diagnosis of PCOS:
Diagnosis technique may include:
- Ask questions about patients past health, symptoms, and menstrual cycles.
- To do a physical exam to look for signs of PCOS, such as extra body hair and high blood pressure.
- Different lab tests may include:
- Thyroid function tests to determine how much of the thyroid hormone the patient's body produces
- Fasting glucose test to measure the blood sugar levels
- Lipid level tests to assess the amount of cholesterol in the blood
- Vaginal ultrasound: A pelvic to vaginal ultrasound to look for the cysts on the ovaries.
Treatments of PCOS:
- Eating a healthy diet-A healthy diet and regular exercise is recommended for all women with PCOS, particularly those who are overweight. This can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and lower your blood glucose levels.
- Birth control pills- Women who don't want to become pregnant may be prescribed birth control pills. These can help treat acne, regulate the menstrual cycle, and lower levels of male hormones, such as testosterone, in the body.
- Medications-. Anti-androgens are drugs that reduce male hormone levels. These can help stop excess hair growth and reduce acne. Diabetes medications may also be prescribed to lower blood glucose and testosterone levels.
- Surgery-Surgery may be recommended for some women with PCOS. Ovarian drilling is a procedure in which doctor punctures your ovary with a small needle that carries an electric current. This is done in order to destroy part of the ovary. It's a short-term solution that can promote ovulation and reduce male hormone levels.
Complications of PCOS:
Certain complications may include: