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Learn about the symptoms, causes and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Posted on- Jun 24, 2015
  • 10076 Views

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. Women suffering from PCOS may have swelled ovaries that contain follicles (small collections of fluid) which can be seen in an ultrasound examination. Irregular or longing menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, obesity and acne are associated with PCOS. In teenage girls, absence of monthly cycles may raise the suspicion of the disease.

Polycystic ovary syndrome signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of PCOS often develop when a woman first starts having periods. In some exceptional cases, PCOS develops at a later stage. The signs that your gynecologist sees and symptoms that you feel can worsen with obesity. In order to give appropriate treatment, your gynecologist will look into the following:
  • Irregular periods are the most common feature of PCOS. Examples include not having periods for over 35 days, less than 8 monthly cycles in a year, failure to menstruate for more than 4 months or prolonged heavy periods.
  • Escalated levels of androgens (male hormones) may result in increased facial and body hair, adult acne and male-pattern baldness.
  • Polycystic ovaries become enlarged and contain small fluid-filled sacs surrounding the eggs.

Causes of Polycystic ovary syndrome

Gynecologists don’t know the right cause behind polycystic ovary syndrome, but these factors may play a role:
  • The hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas is responsible to use glucose so that your body maintains energy levels. However, if you are insulin resistance then your pancreas will produce more insulin to make glucose. Excess amount of insulin may hinder with the ovaries by augmenting androgen production.
  • Your body’s white blood cells fight against inflammation. Studies have shown that females with PCOS have low-grade inflammation which prompts polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.
  • If your mother or sister had PCOS, chances are great you may suffer as well. Researchers are looking for genes linked with PCOS.

Treatments and drugs available for polycystic ovary syndrome

Your gynecologist on the first go will recommend physical activities to lower excess body weight along with certain medication:
  • In order to create a balance of your menstrual cycle, your doctor will recommend birth control pills- pills that contain both progestin and estrogen. These pills are known to decreasing androgen production and relax your body from the effects of continuous estrogen, reducing the chances of endometrial cancer and correcting abnormal bleeding. You can also use a skin patch or vaginal ring that contains progestin and estrogen. While you are on birth control pills, you will be unable to conceive.
  • Your gynecologist will prescribe an oral anti-estrogen medication called Clomiphene, if you are trying to get pregnant. A combination of Clomiphene and metformin may also be used to induce ovulation. If that doesn’t work, your gynecologist may suggest injecting gonadotropins follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) medications.
  • Your gynecologist may suggest medication called spironolactone to block the effects of androgens on the skin. The medicine can cause birth defects, so contraception is required when using the drug.

It’s not a mammoth target to get rid of PCOS. Certain lifestyle changes and recommendations from your gynecologist can help you overcome the disease.

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