The polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is hereditary with hormones creating havoc when they intend to do a dance of their own.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman's hormones are out of balance causing irregular menstrual cycles and difficulty getting pregnant. Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger many different processes, including growth and energy production.
PCOS also may cause unwanted changes in the patient's appearance. If left treated, over time it may lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
What is PCOS?
Small cystic growths develop on the the ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts are not pathologically harmful, though. Early diagnosis and treatment can control the symptoms and prevent long-term complications.
The sex hormones get out of balance. Normally, the ovaries make a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). In PCOS, they start releasing slightly more androgens. This may lead to discontinuation of ovulation, acne, and extra facial and body hair.
There may be insulin resistance-- that is, difficulty using insulin causing blood sugar levels to go up. Over time, this increases the chance of getting diabetes.
What causes PCOS?
The cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but heredity may be a factor. An individual's chance of having it is higher if other women in her family have it or have irregular periods or diabetes. PCOS can be passed down from either of the parents' side.
What are the symptoms?
- Weight gain and trouble losing weight.
- Extra hair on the face and body.
- Thinning hair on the scalp.
- Irregular periods.
- Fertility problems.
How is it treated?
Regular exercise, balanced diet, and weight control are the key prevention methods that should be adopted by patients prone to PCOS. Treatment can reduce unpleasant symptoms and prevent long-term health problems. Women who smoke have higher androgen levels that may contribute to PCOS symptoms.
Surgery – Laparoscopy drills multiple holes in ovary and carefully destroys abnormal ovarian tissues that are causing problems, thus restoring normal ovarian functions and enables women to ovulate. However, only the stroma should be destroyed and not the cortex of ovary as cortex is the repository of eggs and if damaged, the entire ovarian process gets adversely affected.
It can be hard to deal with having PCOS. It is advised to see a therapist in case of depression and anxiety.