Happy new month to everyone.. This is my very first post for the month of October. I am so sorry to be starting my post for this month with a topic on sickness instead of something better. As much as i hate doing this, i think its very important and necessary we learn about this.
So i don’t know how many of us Men or Women must have heard about POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME. Well if you are among those who haven’t heard of it before, don’t feel bad because prior to this research, i also had not heard of it. My very good friend, who is a medical student in Dubai told me to make research and write on this topic. She explained that aside from the fact that she is 25 and unmarried and has been diagnosed with it, she has also noticed that quite a number of women in are suffering from this. According to her, some are aware while some are not.
Well i decided to find out for myself what this “polycystic ovary syndrome” at first i thought it was the same thing as OVARIAN CYST but it’s not.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs in the ovary. They are common and usually form during ovulation. Ovulation happens when the ovary releases an egg each month. Many women with ovarian cysts don’t have symptoms. The cysts are usually harmless.
There was a time i was diagnosed of having Ovarian cyst and my doctor told me i had to take some medications for some weeks and if it does get better, he would do a small surgery called Laparoscopy. Laparoscopy (lap-uh-ROSS-kuh-pee). With this surgery, the doctor makes a very small cut above or below your belly button to look inside your pelvic area and remove the cyst. This is often recommended for smaller cysts that look benign (not cancerous) on the ultrasound. Thank God with the Medication and my constant prayer to God i was healed.
What is PCOS?
According to healthline.com
PCOS is a problem with hormones that affects women during their childbearing years (ages 15 to 44). Between 2.2 and 26.7 percent of women in this age group have PCOS . Many women have PCOS but don’t know it. In one study, up to 70 percent of women with PCOS hadn’t been diagnosed .
PCOS affects a woman’s ovaries, the reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone — hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also produce a small amount of male hormones called androgens. The ovaries release eggs to be fertilized by a man’s sperm. The release of an egg each month is called ovulation.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) control ovulation. FSH stimulates the ovary to produce a follicle — a sac that contains an egg — and then LH triggers the ovary to release a mature egg.
PCOS is a “syndrome,” or group of symptoms that affects the ovaries and ovulation. Its three main features are:
- cysts in the ovaries
- high levels of male hormones
- irregular or skipped periods
In PCOS, many small, fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries. The word “polycystic” means “many cysts.”
These sacs are actually follicles, each one containing an immature egg. The eggs never mature enough to trigger ovulation.
The lack of ovulation alters levels of estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH. Estrogen and progesterone levels are lower than usual, while androgen levels are higher than usual.
Extra male hormones disrupt the menstrual cycle, so women with PCOS get fewer periods than usual.
6 common symptoms of PCOS
Some women start seeing symptoms around the time of their first period. Others only discover they have PCOS after they’ve gained a lot of weight or they’ve had trouble getting pregnant.
The most common PCOS symptoms are:
- Irregular periods: A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month. Some women with PCOS get fewer than eight periods a year (10).
- Heavy bleeding: The uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, so the periods you do get can be heavier than normal.
- Hair growth: More than 70 percent of women with this condition grow hair on their face and body — including on their back, belly, and chest (11). Excess hair growth is called hirsutism.
- Acne: Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.
- Weight gain: Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese (11).
- Male-pattern baldness: Hair on the scalp get thinner and fall out.
- 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.
- Headaches: Hormone changes can trigger headaches in some women.
How PCOS affects your body
Having higher-than-normal androgen levels can affect your fertility and other aspects of your health.
Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese (13). Both obesity and PCOS increase your risk for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Together, these factors are called metabolic syndrome, and they increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
This condition causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupt sleep.
Sleep apnea is more common in women who are overweight — especially if they also have PCOS. The risk for sleep apnea is 5 to 10 times higher in obese women with PCOS than in those without PCOS (14).
During ovulation, the uterine lining sheds. If you don’t ovulate every month, the lining can build up. A thickened uterine lining can increase your risk for endometrial cancer (15).
Both hormonal changes and symptoms like unwanted hair growth can negatively affect your emotions. Many with PCOS end up experiencing depression and anxiety (16).
How PCOS is diagnosed
Doctors typically diagnose PCOS in women who have at least two of these three symptoms :
- high androgen levels
- irregular menstrual cycles
- cysts in the ovaries
Your doctor should also ask whether you’ve had symptoms like acne, face and body hair growth, and weight gain.
A pelvic exam can look for any problems with your ovaries or other parts of your reproductive tract. During this test, your doctor inserts gloved fingers into your vagina and checks for any growths in your ovaries or uterus.
Blood tests check for higher-than-normal levels of male hormones. You might also have blood tests to check your cholesterol, insulin, and triglyceride levels to evaluate your risk for related conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
An ultrasound uses sound waves to look for abnormal follicles and other problems with your ovaries and uterus.
Pregnancy and PCOS
PCOS interrupts the normal menstrual cycle and makes it harder to get pregnant. Between 70 and 80 percent of women with PCOS have fertility problems .
This condition can also increase the risk for pregnancy complications.
Women with PCOS are twice as likely as women without the condition to deliver their baby prematurely. They’re also at greater risk for miscarriage, high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes .
However, women with PCOS can get pregnant using fertility treatments that improve ovulation. Losing weight and lowering blood sugar levels can improve your odds of having a healthy pregnancy.
According to www.hormone.org
What causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. In fact, there is probably more than one cause. In general, an imbalance of hormones underlies the condition. It has also been called “ovarian androgen excess” because the ovaries produce male hormones (androgens) in increased amounts.
PCOS seems to be inherited. Female relatives or children of patients with PCOS are at increased risk for having PCOS.
MEDICAL TREATMENTS ( according to www.healthline.com)
Common medical treatments
Birth control pills and other medicines can help regulate the menstrual cycle and treat PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne.
Taking estrogen and progestin daily can restore a normal hormone balance, regulate ovulation, relieve symptoms like excess hair growth, and protect against endometrial cancer. These hormones come in a pill, patch, or vaginal ring.
Metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet) is a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. It also treats PCOS by improving insulin levels.
One study found that taking metformin while making changes to diet and exercise improves weight loss, lowers blood sugar, and restores a normal menstrual cycle better than changes to diet and exercise alone (24).
Hair removal medicines
A few treatments can help get rid of unwanted hair or stop it from growing. Eflornithine (Vaniqa) cream is a prescription drug that slows hair growth. Laser hair removal and electrolysis can get rid of unwanted hair on your face and body.
Surgery can be an option to improve fertility if other treatments don’t work. Ovarian drilling is a procedure that makes tiny holes in the ovary with a laser or thin heated needle to restore normal ovulation.
When to see a doctor
See a 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 12 months but haven’t been successful.
- You have symptoms of diabetes, such as excess thirst or hunger, blurred vision, or unexplained weight loss.
If you have PCOS, plan regular visits with your primary care doctor. You’ll need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible complications.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) cannot be prevented. But early diagnosis and treatment helps prevent long-term complications, such as infertility, metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Healthy eating and exercise- Eat a balanced diet. A diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products supplies your body’s nutritional needs, satisfies your hunger, and decreases your cravings. And a healthy diet makes you feel better and have more energy.
Make physical activity a regular and essential part of your life. Choose fitness activities that are right for you to help boost your motivation. Walking is one of the best activities. Having a walking or exercise partner that you can count on can also be a great way to stay active. For more information, see the topic Fitness.
Weight control and weight loss- Stay at a healthy weight. This is the weight at which you feel good about yourself, have energy for work and play, and can manage your PCOS symptoms.
Don’t smoke- If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher levels of androgens than women who don’t smoke. Smoking also increases the risk for heart disease. For more information, see Quitting Smoking.
Caring for skin and hair- Acne treatment may include nonprescription or prescription medicines that you put on your skin (topical) or take by mouth (oral). Some women notice an improvement in their acne after using estrogen-progestin hormone pills. For more information, see the topic Acne.
Like i would always say, it’s always good to constantly go for check up as a person whether you are a man or a woman. Lets all try our best to make sure that we stay safe and healthy. Please feel free to comment on today’s post if you have more suggestions to share. Let’s not forget to share this post until it gets to women all over the World.
It’s all about you …..never forget that.