PCOS is a condition that can affect your periods, fertility, hormones and your appearance. It also affect your long-term health. Studies have shown that approximately 50% women in India have this condition. It affects all age groups and is more prevalent now due to our poor lifestyle i.e. sedentary life without any exercise, more stress and the fast food culture.
Polycystic ovaries are slightly larger than normal ovaries and have twice the number of follicles (fluid-filled spaces within the ovary that release the eggs when you ovulate)
Note all women who have multiple follicles don’t have PCOS. The Diagnosis of PCOS is made only when the woman has symptoms
The cause of PCOS is not yet known but it often runs in families. If any of your relatives (mother, aunts, and sisters) are affected with PCOS, your risk of developing PCOS is high. The symptoms are related to abnormal hormone levels.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
The symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular periods or no periods at all
- An increase in facial or body hair (hirsutism)
- Being overweight, rapid weight gain or having difficulty losing weight
- Oily skin, acne
- Infertility-unable to conceive. This is because PCOS is associated with an ovulation
The combination of obesity, hirsutism, acne and infertility contribute to poor body image, depression and anxiety.
When is a woman said to have PCOS?
A diagnosis is made when a woman has any two of the following:
- Irregular, infrequent periods or no periods at all
- An increase in facial or body hair and/or blood tests that show higher testosterone levels than normal. Many times, the blood levels of hormones are normal, however if the woman has Polycystic ovaries on a scan and has irregular cycles/ increased hair growth/ difficulty in attaining pregnancy, she is considered to have PCOS
- An ultrasound scan that shows polycystic ovaries.
Having polycystic ovaries does not necessarily mean that you have PCOS. Women with PCOS have symptoms as well as polycystic ovaries i.e.
PCOS = Polycystic ovaries on scan + Symptoms
How does PCOS affect the long-term health of a woman?
PCOS patients have a higher risk of:
- Diabetes mellitus i.e. high blood sugars
- Hypertension i.e. high blood pressure
- Cancer of the womb
Treatment of PCOS
Women with PCOS can successfully manage their symptoms and long-term health risks without medical intervention. By following healthy diet, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, some women need treatment.
As mentioned before, PCOS affects women of all ages, however, the treatment differs depending on the age. For example, in a young unmarried girl, the emphasis will be on making her period’s regular while for a married woman desiring pregnancy, treatment will be aimed at inducing ovulation. In older women, the aim will be to avoid other health issues.
Is there a cure for PCOS ?
There is no cure for PCOS. Medical treatments aim to manage and reduce the symptoms or consequences of having PCOS. Medication alone has not been shown to be better than healthy lifestyle changes (weight loss and exercise).
Dr. Vijay Kumar P.K
Fertility Specialist – Gynecologist
For appointments contact us through
Phone: +91 8105375555
Location: #13, 1st Floor, Banaswadi Main Road, Above Federal Bank, Opp. Tamarind Restaurant, Banaswadi, Bangalore-560043