Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. Complex hormonal and metabolic problems of the female body. Affects up to almost 20 percent of women during their childbearing years ( mostly 18-35 )
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles that are up to 8mm (approximately 0.3in) in size.
The follicles are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.
Complex hormonal and metabolic problem of the female body.
- High levels of male hormones prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and making eggs normally which leads to Infertility
- Insulin resistency leads to obesity, diabetes, liver and heart problems, stroke and death
- Ovaries ( many small follicule cysts, producing more Testosterone )
- Pancreas ( producing more and more Insulin )
- Fat tissue of the body
What causes it?
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes PCOS.
Genes, insulin resistance, and inflammation have all been linked to excess androgen production.
- Insulin resistance
Up to 70 percent of PCOS have it, meaning that their body cells can’t use insulin properly.
Insulin is a hormone to helps the body use sugar from foods for energy.
The body makes more insulin to compensate and it triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones but the sugar became fat instead of energy.
Studies show that PCOS runs in families
Women with PCOS often have increased levels of inflammation in their body.
Common symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular periods.
- Menstruational bleeding
- Hair growth on their face and body, manly type
- Male pattern baldness. Hair on the scalp gets thinner and fall out.
- Acne on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.
- Weight gain. Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese
- Darkening of the skin. Dark patches of skin can form in body creases like those on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts.
- Hormone changes can trigger headaches in some women.
How PCOS affects your body
- InfertilityChanges in body weight ( mostly gain quick )
- Metabolic syndrome: high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, stroke
- Sleep apnea
- Endometrial cancer
How PCOS is diagnosed
- Blood test / hormonal checkup
– FSH, LH, Prolactin, TSH
– Insulin, Estrogen, Testosterone, DHEA,
Pregnancy and PCOS
- Infertility without medical treatment
- Increased risk for pregnancy complications and miscarriage
Common medical treatments
- Diet and lifestyle
- Birth control pill ( with strong antiandrogen effect; Diane 35 )
- Metformin ( benefit is controversial, more side effects )
- Ovulation induction with Clomiphene ( first no need IVF ! )
- Surgery ( Drilling )
When to see a doctor?
See your doctor if:
- You’ve missed periods and you’re not pregnant.
- You have symptoms of PCOS, such as hair growth on your face and body.
- You’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than 6 months but haven’t been successful.