What is PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) ?
Uncommon and not frequently heard of, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone disorder present in women who have irregular periods, excessive male hormones which result in the inability to release eggs regularly and most often, the cause of this syndrome is unknown to many.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome tends to affect approximately 10% of women in the reproductive age group. Likely to be associated with genetics, PCOS is a condition whereby there are several cysts in a woman’s ovary, affecting the hormonal levels and therefore, preventing their ovaries from releasing an egg every month, affecting fertility.
What causes PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) ?
Although there are no exact known causes, here are some factors that might have contributed to its development.
Based on previous research, genetics passed on could be linked to PCOS
- Excess male hormones (Androgens)
When there is insulin resistance, the pancreas generates more insulin to compensate which in turn triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones.
Obesity in women tends to have inflammation in their body, leading to higher androgen levels.
Common Signs of PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)
- Polycystic ovaries
When cysts are present in the ovaries, the ovaries might be enlarged. These cysts are follicle sacs that are filled with liquid which surrounds the eggs, preventing their ovaries from releasing an egg for ovulation.
- Irregular periods
When there are excessive male hormones, it disrupts the menstrual cycle and as a result, women with PCOS get lesser periods.
- Excessive male hormones present
Typically hair growth in the chin, chest, inner thighs and the formation of acne.
How to cure PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome treatments)?
Although there are no official polycystic ovary syndrome treatments, there are natural ways that can help improve one’s health conditions. With obesity present, the symptoms above are typically more severe. A change in lifestyle habits like diet and exercise can help better regulate one’s menstrual cycles, improve cholesterol levels and lower other health risks.
A key thing to note for a PCOS friendly diet is, carbohydrate intake needs to be limited as it can be insulin resistant, making it harder for one to lose weight.
For a more comprehensive PCOS diet, there should be fiber-rich foods, lean protein and food that are anti-inflammatory. Some examples of fiber rich food include vegetables, almonds, berries and sweet potatoes. Fiber rich foods can help slow down digestion, reducing the impact of sugar on blood. Likewise, anti-inflammatory food like tomatoes, kale and salmon can reduce inflammation in the body. More importantly, carbohydrates should be kept out of the equation and if needed, try exploring other alternatives like pastas made of lentil flour or brown rice.
Birth control pills
Birth control pills may help to regulate ovulation, boosting estrogen levels in the women body. They may also help to relieve symptoms like hair growth and acne to decrease androgen production.
Metformin is a type of medication that helps improve insulin levels, assist in weight loss and help to restore a regular menstrual cycle.
When to seek a doctor?
With PCOS affecting a woman’s fertility, one should be seeking for a doctor’s advice for pcos test and a proper pcos diagnosis if they are experiencing:
- Irregular periods, or missed period but yet they are not pregnant
- Excessive hair growth or acne outburst
- You are experiencing infertility
It is okay if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, as long as there is a chance for proper treatment, there is hope. All the best!