Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a largely common hormonal disorder, associated with a number of issues in women during their reproductive age. Although it can be one of the complex conditions occurring in the women, early detection on the basis of symptoms and treatment can be helpful in minimizing long-term complications associated with the condition.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a commonly reported issue by women during their childbearing period. Statistics have figured out that almost 27% of women exhibit symptoms associated with the polycystic ovarian syndrome during their fertile period. It is mostly associated with increased cysts in the ovaries, increased production of male hormones, and non-regularized menstrual cycle.
The condition is also characterized by abnormal hair growth on the face and other parts of the body, exhibition of male pattern baldness and difficulty in childbearing capacity. If ignored for a longer period of time, it can be associated with diabetes and heart problems, as evident in many women.
The medical fraternity is struggling to pinpoint exact PCOS causes associated with the condition. However, increased stress level and on-the-go lifestyle are identified to be the leading factors.
Experts have further analyzed that expression of symptoms is variable depending upon the physiological condition of a woman and hence PCOS diagnosis can be highly challenging. In this regard, some of the commonly reported PCOS symptoms are mentioned herewith that can be helpful in early detection.
Irregular menstrual periods
The irregular pattern of menstruation is one of the most obvious indications of imbalanced hormonal secretion and hence should never be ignored. Almost 70% of women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome have reported delayed menstruation with a gap of almost 35-40 days. There is also a possibility of complete absence of periods, as reported by almost 10% of the women suffering from PCOS. While analyzing causes of delayed menstruation, experts suggest that issues in ovulation and/or failure in the process of egg release by ovaries are the leading factors.
Detection of cysts in the ovaries
Physiology of a woman supports the follicular release of one mature egg, every month; channelizing it towards the uterus. When the egg fails to unite with the sperm, it is ruptured and is passed outside the body through blood. Besides, the release of the egg is also associated with natural follicular disruption. However, in case of women expressing polycystic ovary syndrome, immature follicles further club together to form cysts. Thus, if a transvaginal ultrasound detects a number of ovarian cysts, it is always advisable to get yourself checked for PCOS.
Difficulty in losing weight
The most annoying problem with Polycystic Ovary syndrome is the difficulty in weight reduction. Many women have reported unusual weight gain, even after following a healthy lifestyle. Doctors have linked it with major hormonal imbalance the woman with PCOS is going through. Thus, unreasonable weight gain can be an indication of PCOS that needs immediate medical attention.
Excessive hair growth
Studies have indicated that excessive secretion of androgen can always be associated with abnormal hair growth all over the body including the face; which can be referred to be as one of the dreaded symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Some of the commonly identified body parts are chin, jawline, around the lips, arms, legs, and torso. Thus, if thick masculine pattern hair growth is observed on any of the above-noted body parts, it is advisable to get yourself checked for PCOS.
Darkening and thickening of the skin
The appearance of dark velvety patches in certain areas of the body, such as neck, elbow, groin, armpits is identified to be one of the most noted symptoms of PCOS. The condition is known to be a skin pigmentation disorder, scientifically termed as acanthosis nigricans and is associated with insulin resistance. Statistical analysis confirmed higher incidences of acanthosis nigricans in women suffering with PCOS.
Thus, if any of the above-mentioned symptoms are identified, it is advisable to seek expert’s attention as soon as possible.
The appearance of cystic acne is another common issue experienced by women with polycystic ovary syndrome. It is characterized by the presence of tender knots beneath the surface of the skin causing small depressions instead of surface bumps. The significantly higher appearance of these cysts has been marked on the hormonally sensitive areas of the skin, mentioned above.
How can PCOS affect you!
Studies have indicated that secretion of higher levels of male sex hormones, irregularity in menstrual cycles and presence of cysts on ovaries can significantly affect the quality of life. If ignored for a longer period of time the condition may lead to:
- Metabolic disorders
- Sleep Apnea
- Depression as well as frequent mood swings
- Endometrial cancer
The bottom line
Polycystic Ovary syndrome is a common disorder affecting a large proportion of women in their childbearing age. The exact cause of its expression is yet to be identified, but studies have identified certain factors, such as high secretion of male sex hormones, irregular menstrual period and formation of ovarian cysts to be the leading causes.
Adapting a healthy lifestyle is proposed to be the primary treatment, besides a healthy diet and proper exercise schedule.