Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women. In fact globally, 1 in 10 females in the reproductive age are affected by this condition, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. In India alone, the prevalence of PCOS is estimated at 9.13% of the female adolescent population, according to a 2011 study published on ResearchGate.
It is necessary to be well aware of this disease, in order to identify the symptoms associated. Timely medical intervention can make this disease manageable.
Symptoms of PCOS
The most common symptoms of PCOS to look out for are:
- Irregular periods because there is no shedding of the uterine lining due to lack of ovulation
- Excessive body hair growth in chest, belly, back and even on the face
- Oily skin and acne formation in the upper back, face and chest
- Abnormal weight gain
- Thinning of hair on the scalp
- Darkening of the skin in and around the neck, under the breasts and in the groin
Diagnosis of PCOS
One single test cannot diagnose Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Doctors will inquire about your medical history and perform multiple physical exams like blood tests to determine the glucose, hormones and cholesterol levels. They also try to figure out male hormone levels, insulin, and triglyceride levels. Pelvic exams are done to check for complications in your reproductive tract and ovaries.
Lastly, ultrasounds are carried out to look out for any abnormalities in the uterus, ovaries or the follicles. PCOS is usually found in women who have irregular menstrual cycles, high levels of androgen and cysts in ovaries.
Treatment of PCOS
PCOS cannot be cured completely if treated on time.
- Birth Control
In order to regulate your menstrual cycle and ovulation and restore hormonal balance, birth control pills with progestin and estrogens are given daily. These also help to control hair growth and prevent endometrial cancer.
- Fertility Medications
Drugs and hormones like clomiphene and gonadotropins like luteinizing hormone and stimulating hormones are prescribed to the patient.
- Hair Control Treatments
Excessive hair growth can be minimized with the help of eflornithine (Vaniqa) or spironolactone (Aldactone). Eflornithine, in particular, can work wonders in slowing the hair growth process. Finasteride (Propecia) can also be used but it is not suitable for women who wish to conceive a child.
Surgical methods can opt-in PCOS treatment; these include:
- Ovarian drilling
Levels of androgen produced can be reduced by creating small holes in the
In this, part of the uterus or the entire organ is removed. Surgeons might also remove fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries.
This is the surgical removal of either one of both the ovaries.
- Cyst aspiration
In this method, fluids are drained from ovarian cysts. This can be done once the cysts are found to be benign.
Make yourself well aware of the symptoms, diagnosis & treatment of PCOS to get prompt treatment. It is also necessary to maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and proper diet.
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