Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a complex disorder that causes various symptoms among women in their reproductive years. It can affect women right from their adolescence and can cause menstrual issues, abdominal pain, acne, facial hair, body hair, and fertility issues.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Abnormal menstrual cycles with irregular or no periods at all
- Difficulty with ovulation (Fertility issues)
- Excess hair growth on face, arms, chest, back, and legs
- Hair loss on scalp
- Weight gain
- Abdominal pain
- Psychological issues like depression
If PCOS is not managed properly, it can lead to type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels, sleep apnea, heart diseases, and stroke.
Hormones like leptin, androgens, estrogens and other hormones have an influence on appetite, fat distribution in the body, and overall metabolism. Obesity caused due to hormonal imbalance can lead to reduced fertility, and risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, stroke, certain cancers, osteoporosis, and psychological issues.
PCOS treatment is provided by an endocrinologist. Since PCOS manifests in multiple forms, it requires a multidisciplinary approach. Relief from the symptoms of PCOS, and improving fertility are the goals of PCOS treatment. PCOS treatment involves lifestyle changes with dietary changes. This is needed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is also required to prevent excess weight gain. Since PCOS involves hyperandrogeneism (excess male hormones in women), use of progestin therapy is advised. Birth control pills are also used to treat PCOS. These reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, menstrual disorders, excess hair growth, acne, and abnormal bleeding.