PCOS impacts as many as 5 million women, inflicting issues with their menstrual cycles, in addition to making it harder to get pregnant.
If you are affected by PCOS, knowing the causes, symptoms, and PCOS treatment choices available to you’re the primary steps to improving your overall health.
What Is PCOS?
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is a situation that directly impacts a woman’s hormone levels. It occurs throughout their childbearing years – ages 15 to 44. With PCOS, a woman’s physique produces higher-than-normal ranges of male hormones.
Polycystic means “many cysts”. With PCOS, a woman’s ovaries start to develop many tiny fluid-filled sacs. Each one of these sacs contains one immature egg that won’t ever develop sufficient to set off ovulation.
Without ovulation, a woman’s hormone ranges are affected. As a result, the ovaries produce much less estrogen and progesterone. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce sacs that contain eggs, and luteinizing hormone (LH), which triggers the ovaries to launch a mature egg are additionally affected. Levels of androgen, which is a male hormone, additionally start to rise.
As a result, a woman will skip menstrual cycles and have greater difficulty getting pregnant.
8 Symptoms of PCOS
Symptoms of PCOS usually start to happen across the time a feminine begins her menstrual cycle. Surprisingly, most women who’ve PCOS don’t even know they’ve it, and often go undiagnosed till they discover they’ve gained a lot of weight or they’re having difficulty conceiving.
The most common PCOS signs are:
- Irregular periods – Without common ovulation, the uterus sheds its lining much less frequently, leading to much less frequent periods.
- Weight gain – Weight gain is a quite common symptom of PCOS. In fact, near 80% of these which have PCOS are both overweight or obese.
- Heavy bleeding – Because the liner of the uterus is constructing up for a for a lot longer interval of time, when a interval does happen, it’s a lot heavier than usual.
- Hair growth – Extra face and physique hair can happen with greater than 70% of women with PCOS. Known as hirsutism, this extra hair growth is usually discovered on the back, belly, or chest.
- Darkening of the skin – Many women can start forming darkish patches of pores and skin within the creases of their body, together with the groin, neck, and under the breasts.
- Acne – Due to the rise in male hormones, a woman’s physique will have extra oily skin. This can set off acne breakouts.
- Headaches – A quite common symptom of PCOS are complications that are triggered by the fluctuations in hormones.
- Male sample baldness – For some women, the hair on their scalp may start to skinny and eventually fall out.
3 Causes of PCOS
The exact set off of PCOS is definitely unknown, however many doctors believe it could additionally be due to one of three different conditions that are linked to a rise in androgen production.
- Inflammation – Women who’ve PCOS have higher ranges of irritation of their bodies. Inflammation can be a results of being overweight. It’s been proven that elevated irritation can increase androgen levels.
- Insulin Resistance – Obesity is a direct set off of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is common in women with PCOS. The pancreas produces insulin, which is a hormone. With insulin resistance, cells within the physique aren’t able to make use of insulin properly, and the physique compensates by making extra insulin. More insulin causes the ovaries to produce extra male hormones.
- Genes – For many women, PCOS is directly associated to their genetic makeup. It tends to run in families. It is believed that there are a number of genes that may contribute to a woman developing PCOS.
7 PCOS Treatment Options
- Diet – Some diets have been proven to have a positive impact on PCOS. Diets which have decrease ranges of carbohydrates can reduce weight and insulin levels. A low glycemic (low GI) diet with extra fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can assist to regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Exercise – Adding half-hour of moderate train three or extra days a week can assist you lose weight. Weight loss can assist with ovulation and enhance your insulin levels.
- Clomiphene – A fertility drug, additionally known as clomid, is prescribed to women having difficulty getting pregnant. One side impact of clomid is an elevated chance of multiples like twins.
- Metformin – Used to assist deal with type 2 diabetes, metformin can enhance insulin ranges with women who’ve PCOS. Taking metformin, together with changes to diet and exercise, can assist you lose weight, decrease your blood sugar, and restore a regular menstrual cycle.
- Birth control – Birth control, which contains progestin, could additionally be prescribed to regulate each ovulation and hormone levels. It can additionally assist to alleviate some signs of PCOS such as extra hair growth.
- Hair removal medications – Your physician could additionally be able to prescribe medications such as Vaniqa that prohibit hair growth or cease it from rising altogether. For women who don’t need to take medication, laser hair removal or electrolysis can assist to take away extra hair permanently.
- Surgery – When common fertility treatment choices don’t work, surgical procedure could additionally be an choice to assist you get pregnant. One type of surgical procedure is ovarian drilling, in which tiny holes are made in an ovary utilizing a thin, heated needle or a laser to try and restore regular ovulation.
If you believe you are experiencing PCOS signs such as weight gain or hair growth, you’ve skipped periods, or you’ve been attempting to get pregnant for greater than 12 months, it could additionally be time to see your doctor.
Your physician will be able to recommend the best treatment choices for you that may assist relieve symptoms, restore regular menstrual cycles, or assist you to get pregnant.