POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a disorder in which a woman's hormones get out of balance, and can cause problems with the menstrual cycle, thereby making it difficult for the woman to get pregnant.
It also affects the physical appearance, and if untreated, can cause serious conditions like diabetes and heart problems.
In this disorder, the woman grows a large number of small cysts on their ovaries; these cysts are not harmful, but they cause hormonal imbalances.
The exact cause of PCOS is yet undefined, but genetic history may be a factor
PCOS is caused by hormonal imbalances. Hormone levels depend on the levels of other hormones, and imbalance in one level can result in total disruption of the hormonal system, like dominos.
Major symptoms of PCOS are
- Acne (spots and blackheads on the face and/or neck, shoulders)
- Sudden weight gain by more than 5 kg
- Extra facial and body hair
- Irregularity in periods- too early, too late or missing altogether
- Problems getting pregnant even after repeated efforts
- The doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination along with questions about periods, medical history.
- Lab tests to check blood sugar, hormone levels and insulin
- Pelvic ultrasound scan to check for cysts
- A healthy lifestyle is key to preventing PCOS. A well balanced diet accompanied with regular exercise reduces the risk of developing ovarian cysts, and thereby of PCOS
- Often, being overweight is a cause of PCOS, and reducing weight helps in most cases
- Quitting smoking also helps to reduce the risk
- In most cases, the doctor will recommend a hormone therapy treatment to restart ovulation if weight reduction does not help.
- Hormone therapy may either be used to increase the chance of pregnancy, or to simply regulate the levels of hormones in the body
- Other symptoms can be treated accordingly, such as acne, facial hair, etc.
- Depression in the patient is usually treated using antidepressants accompanied with counselling.
After treatment, it is important to report to the doctor regularly for around six months, for any recurrences of cysts.
Also, healthy lifestyle should be maintained to avoid any other causes for infertility.