5 things you must know about PCOS
PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a term familiar to many but understood by very few people. PCOS is an endocrine disorder and is very common in Urban Indian women. But many of them do not even realise the intensity of the condition let alone getting treated for it.
To begin with, here are a few critical things every woman should know about PCOS:
1. It is more common than you think:
PCOS affects one in ten women in their reproductive age caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. To all women suffering from PCOS, it is essential to get treated by a specialist. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, however doctors believe that high levels of male hormones prevent ovaries from making eggs normally. Genes, insulin resistance, and inflammation have all been linked to excess androgen production.
2. It is more than just painful periods!
A combination of genetic and environmental factors plays a key role in PCOS. It creates hormonal imbalance that leads to physical and emotional side effects. The most common symptoms of PCOS are:
- Irregular or missed periods
- Heavy bleeding and Pelvic pain
- Sudden weight gain and fatigue
- Acne and unwanted hair growth (hirsutism)
PCOS is a leading cause of infertility among women. But not every woman with PCOS is the same, some may conceive naturally, some might need assistance.
3. It is difficult to identify and treat
The symptoms of PCOS may appear at early puberty and remain through adulthood. Some women may suffer and can go undiagnosed for years because of lack of awareness. Women are usually identified when they have symptoms like irregular or absent periods, increased levels of androgens and polycystic ovaries. Treatment for PCOS depends on the woman’s symptoms. Usually hormonal birth control pills are prescribed as it makes periods less painful. But it totally depends on the specialist as to what he will prescribe based on the requirement. As infertility is one of the biggest concerns for women with of PCOS, endometriosis, or both, IVF can be an option. PCOS literally affects every aspect of life and there is a dire need to increase the level of awareness.
4. It is not similar to endometriosis
Very recently have we started taking women’s intimate health conditions seriously. But there is still a lot of confusion about endometriosis and PCOS, two very critical condition that affect women in their prime. Though most of the symptoms are different and both affect different areas of reproductive system, they both mess with the menstrual cycles and both make women suffer and affect the fertility.
Endometriosis, like PCOS, affects the pelvic area and is connected to a hormonal imbalance. But, it’s not the same situation. Endometriosis is the unrestrained, abnormal growth of endometrial lining. And, unlike PCOS, women with endometriosis undergo severe, draining pelvic pain. While it’s possible to have both conditions, it’s rare.
5. PCOS is not the end of life
Lifestyle intrusions are the first treatments that doctors recommend for PCOS, and they often work well. Weight loss can also help treat PCOS symptoms and improve fertility concerns. Diet and exercises are two effective ways to lose weight. Medicines are an option if lifestyle alterations do not improve the condition. Also, PCOS may be common, but it can still make women feel isolated, anxious, and afraid. So, it is important to seek help when needed.