PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance disorder very common among women; the women can have irregular or prolonged menstrual periods or excess androgen level (male hormone). The ovaries may develop small collections of fluids (Follicles) & may fail to release eggs.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS often develop around the time of the first menstrual period during puberty. Sometimes PCOS develops later, for example, in response to substantial weight gain.
Signs and symptoms of PCOS vary. A diagnosis of PCOS is made when you experience at least two of these signs:
Irregular periods. Infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, you might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods and abnormally heavy periods.
Excess androgen. Elevated levels of male hormone may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.
Polycystic ovaries. Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.
PCOS signs and symptoms are typically more severe in person with obesity
PCOS & Reproductive problems
Hormone imbalances can cause several types of pregnancy problems and related problems, including:
Infertility. This happens when the ovaries aren’t releasing an egg every month.
Repeat miscarriages or Premature birth
Gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Increased blood pressure during pregnancy or delivery, having a larger than normal or smaller than normal baby, or having a premature baby.
Precancer of the uterine lining (endometrial hyperplasia). This can happen when you don’t have regular menstrual cycles, which normally build up and “clear off” the uterine lining every month.
Uterine (endometrial) cancer. Risk during the reproductive years is 3 times greater in women who have PCOS than in women who ovulate monthly.
What Causes PCOS
The exact cause of PCOS isn’t known. Factors that might play a role include:
Excess insulin. Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar, your body’s primary energy supply. If your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then your blood sugar levels can rise and your body might produce more insulin. Excess insulin might increase androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.
Low-grade inflammation. This term is used to describe white blood cells’ production of substances to fight infection. Research has shown that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, which can lead to heart and blood vessel problems.
Research suggests that certain genes might be linked to PCOS.
Excess androgen. The ovaries produce abnormally high levels of androgen, resulting in hirsutism and acne.