Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that women produce higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones (androgens). It is common among women of reproductive age. This hormone imbalance makes them skip menstrual periods and hard to get pregnant.
PCOS may also cause hair growth on the face and body, or lead to baldness. If not treated in time, it may cause some long-term diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The exact cause of
PCOS is unknown currently. While there are some risk
factors of PCOS, including:
- Excess insulin: Excess insulin can increase androgen production and
cause ovulation difficulty.
- Inflammation: According some researches, women with POCS have a type
of low-grade inflammation which stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce
- Genes: According to some researches, PCOS usually occurs in
families. This indicate certain genes may be related to PCOS.
- Excess androgen.
Symptoms of PCOS are various, including:
- Irregular periods: A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month.
- Heavy bleeding: Due to the irregular periods, the uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, which make your bleeding heavier than normal.
- Hair growth: Because of the high level of male hormones, over 70% of women with PCOS grow hair on their face and body, including on back, belly, and chest.
- Weight gain.
- Darkening of the skin.
- Hair loss.
- Acne or oily skin.
- Harder to get pregnant.
- Polycystic ovaries.
If you are obese, the symptoms of PCOS
usually more severe.
Doctors usually diagnose PCOS from symptoms
and some exams. Symptoms may include:
- High androgen levels.
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
- Cysts in the ovaries.
- Acne, hair growth and weight gain.
Exams and tests may be needed to help
diagnose PCOS, including:
- Pelvic exam
- Pelvic ultrasound (sonogram)
- Blood tests
Blood tests may include:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): This affects the ability to get pregnant. Patients with PCOS usually have lower level of FSH.
- Luteinizing hormone (LH): This can encourage ovulation. It may be higher than normal if women have PCOS.
- Testosterone: This is a sex hormone which can be higher in women with PCOS.
- Estrogens: Patients with PCOS may get a higher level of estrogens.
- Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG): Patients with PCOS may get a lower level of SHBG.
- Androstenedione: This is a sex hormone which can be higher in women with PCOS.
- Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH): Patients with PCOS may get a lower level of AMH.
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).
There is no cure for PCOS, while there are some methods and medication that can release the symptoms of PCOS.
- Combination birth control pills or vaginal ring.
- Progestin therapy.
- Clomiphene (Clomid).
- Letrozole (Femara).
- Metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet, others).
- Spironolactone (Aldactone).
- Eflornithine (Vaniqa).
Some tips may be helpful to release
symptoms of PCOS.
- Lose weight.
- Do exercise.
- Keep low-carbohydrate diets.
- Drink green tea and Apple Cider Vinegar.
If not treat PCOS in time, it may cause
many complications, including:
- Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
- Miscarriage or premature birth.
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
- Risk of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
- Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
- Sleep apnea.
- Depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
- Abnormal uterine bleeding.
- Endometrial cancer.
Please consult your doctors for your
Keywords: polycystic ovary syndrome; PCOS.