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Poly cystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. Infertility is one of the most common PCOS symptoms. Because the symptoms of PCOS are seemingly unrelated to one another, the condition is often overlooked and undiagnosed. Polycystic ovary syndrome causes irregular menstrual cycles, excessive body or facial hair and polycystic ovaries as its main symptoms. Polycystic means “many cysts,” and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. Women with PCOS produce slightly higher amounts of male hormones known as androgens, which contribute to some of the symptoms of the condition.

PCOS SYMPTOMS:

 

PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment:

  • Irregular or missing menstrual periods

  • Infertility

  • Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth

  • Thinning hair on the scalp

  • Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist

  • Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne

 

Complications of PCOD

 

Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment starts with a proper diagnosis. Treatments are then chosen based on a woman’s symptoms, age and future pregnancy plans. Treatment for PCOS may include:

  • Birth control pills to regulate menstruation

  • Insulin-sensitizing medications

  • Ovulation induction to treat infertility

  • Androgen-blocking medications

  • Topical anti-hair-growth medications

  • Other excess hair treatments

  • Treatments for hair loss

  • Acne treatments

  • Removal of other skin problems

 

PCOS treatment overview:

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, weight control, and not smoking are all important parts of treatment for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). You may also take medicine to balance your hormones. Treatments depend on your symptoms and whether you are planning a pregnancy. There is no cure for PCOS, but controlling it lowers your risks of infertility, miscarriages, diabetes, heart disease, and uterine cancer.

Healthy lifestyle

  • If you are overweight, weight loss may be all the treatment you need. A small amount of weight loss is likely to help balance your hormones and start up your menstrual cycle and ovulation.

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.

  • Get regular exercise to help you control or lose weight and feel better.

  • If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher levels of androgens than women who don’t smoke.

Birth control pills:

For women who don’t want to get pregnant, birth control pills can:

  • Control menstrual cycles

  • Reduce male hormone levels

  • Help to clear acne

Diabetic medications

  • The medicine metformin (Glucophage) is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It has also been found to help with PCOS symptoms, though it isn’t approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this use. Metformin affects the way insulin controls blood glucose (sugar) and lowers testosterone production.

Fertility medications

  • Lack of ovulation is usually the reason for fertility problems in women with PCOS. Several medications that stimulate ovulation can help women with PCOS become pregnant. Even so, other reasons for infertility in both the woman and man should be ruled out before fertility medications are used. Also, some fertility medications increase the risk for multiple births (twins, triplets).

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