Isn’t PCOS a very commonly heard and discussed health topic amongst females? Yes, it is. Not only that, it is a frequently seen disorder in females of all fertile age group. Almost 4 out of 10 females suffer from Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. In most of the cases, the condition goes unnoticed until the female reaches a stage where she is not able to conceive easily. In young females, the symptoms are ignored as mistaken for signs of puberty too. The only way out is to be armed with the right information about polycystic ovaries, tips to prevent PCOS, its causes and treatment.
Here are all possible frequently asked questions about PCOS
1. What is PCOS?
PCOS or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is used for a spectrum of symptoms shown by the female. Commonly referred to as PCOD or Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease, this is a medical problem in which hormones are not balanced due to small tiny cysts present in the ovaries. These cysts cause few hormonal imbalances like overproduction of male hormone Androgens, which further leads to different symptoms. Since, insulin synthesis is also affected by this hormone, its overproduction leads to diabetes at times.
2. At what age can one have PCOS?
PCOS is most commonly seen in young females but can be diagnosed anytime after puberty.
3. What are PCOS Causes?
There is no specific cause for PCOS, but genes are definitely responsible for it. So those mothers having PCOS, be careful and keep a track on your daughter’s health too. Recent researches have shown the growth hormones given to cows and plants can sometimes lead to PCOS.
4. Is there a PCOS symptoms checklist?
Here is a checklist of all PCOS symptoms which are commonly felt yet ignored most of the times.
Nod in affirmative when you feel you have it.
- Irregular periods
- Thick facial hair, especially on side locks, upper lips, and chin
- Thick hair on chest, buttocks, and belly
- Overweight, fat accumulation on the hips
- Thin hair on scalp
- Problems in conceiving, infertility
5. What if I have such symptoms?
If you have been observing the above-mentioned symptoms frequently, you should visit your Gynecologist soon. She or he shall discuss your menstrual history with you, schedule of your periods, history of your weight gain or difficulty in losing weight. To confirm the observations the doctor might ask you to undergo blood tests to check the hormonal levels of your body depending on your fertility cycle. A female month is categorised with different levels of hormones at the different time of a fertility cycle. The doctor will calculate and inform you the right time to undergo tests for PCOD for accurate results. To reconfirm the readings an ultrasound scan is advised to correlate the results. In an Ultrasound the image of the ovaries should show the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries.
6. Does PCOS lead to complications in getting pregnant?
Yes, PCOS causes difficulty for those who are planning to get pregnant and in most cases when a female does not conceive easily that is when PCOS is diagnosed. Because of the presence of multiple cysts in the ovaries, the conception phase is not known. Eggs do not grow at the right time and hence are not ready for fertilization.
7. I am diagnosed with PCOS. What should I do now?
If you have been diagnosed with PCOS then there is nothing to worry as it’s a very common problem in females. Due to the presence of multiple cysts, operations are avoided, unlike the case of one cyst. It has to be lived with and taken care that the symptoms do not overpower you and make you unhealthy. A strong determination to fight the disease is important. Make the following changes or additions in your lifestyle to overcome the symptoms.
- The doctor might advise birth control pills metformin to help you have regular menstrual cycles and bring the hormone ranges to a safe level.
- Exercise regularly, include a vigorous walk as part of your schedule.
- If obese, try to lose weight. Set a target for yourself, of losing 3 kgs in 5 days. Weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation.
- If you smoke, reduce or stop smoking as it indirectly assists in androgen formation in the body.
- You can consult a cosmetologist for facial and unwanted hair. Lots of laser treatments are available at affordable prices.
- Acne can be treated with a bag full of natural remedies.
8. How can changes in my diet help me?
When you are aiming at reducing weight you have to keep a constant check on your food habits. Women with PCOS have higher insulin levels so diet plays a major role. Follow the do’s and don’ts religiously to reduce the risk of having diabetes.
- Eat green leafy roughage vegetables, almonds, pumpkins, beans and broccoli
- Eat berries like strawberry and shehtoot or raspberries
- Include tomato, spinach and omega 3 fatty acids in your daily diet.
- Avoid sweets
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol
- Avoid carbonated drinks
- Avoid junk food such as burger, pastas and pizzas
9. What can I do to prevent PCOS?
If you can identify with few of the symptoms of PCOS, but it has not been detected in any PCOD test, some lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce your risk factor. Adopt an active lifestyle, start exercising, switch to steps, avoid lift, dance to music for happiness and stress relief and bring in dietary changes to reduce the risk of having PCOS.