Have you heard about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? It is a hormonal imbalance that affects women around the world and can have serious effects if left untreated. According to the World Health Organization, between 5 and 10% of women of childbearing age suffer from this hormonal imbalance that can cause changes in the menstrual cycle, cysts in the ovaries, difficulty in becoming pregnant and other health problems. To explain about the disease, I brought you 10 things you need to know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
In today’s text we will cover the following topics
- Hormonal imbalance
- How is it diagnosed?
- Other Diseases
- Be very careful with being overweight
- Doesn’t always cause infertility
- Extraction of cysts is not always necessary
- Ovary cancer
1. Hormonal imbalance
Polycystic ovary syndrome is linked to changes in women’s hormone levels, which makes it difficult for the ovaries to release fully developed eggs. The reasons for these changes are not clear. The affected hormones are:
estrogens and progesterone, female hormones that help a woman’s ovaries to release eggs.
– androgens, a male hormone found in small amounts in women.
Typically, one or more eggs are released during a woman’s menstrual cycle, which is known as ovulation. In most cases, egg release occurs approximately two weeks after the start of the menstrual cycle. In polycystic ovary syndrome, the developed eggs are not released. Instead, they remain in the ovaries surrounded by a small amount of fluid, forming cysts.
Some of the symptoms that occur with this syndrome include changes in the menstrual cycle, such as absence of the menstrual period after having one or more normal menstrual periods during puberty (secondary amenorrhea) and irregular menstrual periods that can be intermittent, from very light to very intense. In addition, there are chances of extra hair appearing on the chest, abdomen, face and around the nipples. Acne on the face, chest or back is another symptom that can occur in these cases.
3. How is it diagnosed?
Occasionally, this syndrome can be difficult to diagnose based solely on symptoms, as it may appear together or in combination; and it can also change from one person to another. In such cases, your doctor may perform a physical exam or ask you to have a series of blood tests to check your hormone levels.
Currently, PCOS is incurable, however, there are ways to reduce its impact on each woman’s life through certain treatments.
4- Other Diseases
Imbalances in sex hormone activity can directly interfere with metabolic processes and, as a consequence, often lead to some health disorders. These diseases include:
- high blood pressure;
- high triglycerides.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are more likely to develop:
- endometrial cancer;
- breast cancer (slightly higher risk).
The causes that lead to the development of polycystic ovaries are still unknown, but there are some risk factors that may explain the appearance of PCOS. Are they:
– Excess insulin, which is the hormone that is produced in the pancreas and allows cells to use sugar (glucose), the body’s main source of energy. If a woman has insulin resistance, her ability to use it effectively is completely affected and the pancreas has to secrete more insulin in order for glucose to be available to the cells. Excess insulin can affect the ovaries, as it increases the production of androgens, which interferes with the ovary’s ability to ovulate.
– Hereditary factor: if your mother or sister had polycystic ovary syndrome, there is a 50% chance that you will develop the syndrome. Researchers are also considering whether certain genes are related to polycystic ovary syndrome.
This will depend on whether you are trying to get pregnant or not. If pregnancy is not a priority for you, the gynecologist can prescribe birth control pills, which will help you to regulate cycles, reduce acne and the growth of unwanted hair. If you are trying to conceive, the treatment for women who suffer from this syndrome and who are trying to conceive is very similar to those used to treat anovulation (suspension or cessation of ovulation).
7. Be very careful with being overweight
Usually, overweight women have PCOS; however, they can restart ovulation naturally when they lose 10% of their current weight. Some studies have shown that, with a healthy diet and regular exercise, ovulation can be restored in some women.
8. Doesn’t always cause infertility
In some women, this can lead to infertility, but not all cases are the same, as not all have difficulties with normal ovulation. But what happens is that women with this disease have unpredictable ovulation and have fewer opportunities to conceive. Nothing that cannot be solved with a good treatment applied in a timely manner.
9. Extraction of cysts is not always necessary
Many women who are diagnosed with this disease believe that they must undergo surgery to remove the ovarian cysts. However, the presence of the cysts does not imply that surgical intervention is necessary, as the cysts often do not grow, ovulate or mature and, in addition, do not pose any danger. The control of this disease will depend on each patient, depending on the severity and hormonal impact.
10. Ovarian cancer
In fact, there is a small possibility that an ovarian cyst is ovarian cancer. And these chances increase with age, because this type of cancer is just one of those that usually occur in old age, from 65 years. That is why it is extremely important to keep the reviews with your doctor for a certain period of time.
Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
There is no manual to prevent Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, but there are attitudes that can significantly reduce symptoms. The first step to prevent yourself is to consult your gynecologist regularly. Gynecological examinations are able to prevent a series of problems that the woman may have to go through. Controlling weight, eating well and exercising also greatly reduce the chances of hormone imbalance.
As I said earlier, unfortunately there is no cure for PCOS, but if you start treatment, nothing prevents you from leading a healthy and full life. Talk to your gynecologist and he will indicate the most appropriate options for your case.