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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common Name/Other Names: Polycystic ovaries; Polycystic ovary disease; Polyfollicular ovarian disease; Stein-Leventhal Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is a common endocrine disorder among women in childbearing age. In women with PCOS, sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance which can lead to ovarian cysts if left untreated.

During ovulation period, one or more eggs are released. Unfertilized mature eggs come out as menstruation. In PCOS, sex hormones are imbalanced which causes women to stop ovulating. When this happens, eggs are not released. They stay in the ovaries and eventually form into cysts.

PCOS can be diagnosed by your medical history, pelvic exams, physical exams, blood tests and vaginal ultrasound (sonogram).

Possible Complications

  • Infertility
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Increased risk of breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Sleep apnea
Symptoms
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Amenorrhea or absence of period
  • Acne
  • Hirsutism or excessive hair growth especially facial hair and on your chest, belly and back.
  • Weight gain and trouble losing weight
  • Hair loss or thinning on the scalp area
  • Fertility problems
  • Mood changes (Anxiety or Depression)
  • Pelvic pain
Risk Factors
  • Heredity
  • History of diabetes
  • Long term use of seizure medicine valproate
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
  • Oral contraceptives can help treat a variety of PCOS symptoms such as irregular or heavy periods, hirsutism (excess hair), acne and can lower the number of cysts. It is also used as a contraceptive.
  • Infertility medications can help you ovulate.
  • Hormone blocking agents may be used to reduce excess hair growth or scalp hair loss.
  • Surgery is only considered if the patient has not responded to any other treatments. There is some concern that surgery can cause scar tissue to your ovaries which can lead to pain or more infertility problems.
Home Remedies
  • Maintain a healthy weight to manage your symptoms. Weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation.
  • Eat a balanced diet which is low in fat and high in fiber. Limit intake of less healthy carbohydrates.
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