Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - Overview

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) has emerged to be one of the most common hormone disorders in women all over the world. The name of the disease comes from the appearance of the ovaries during the period of the disease. The ovaries tend to become enlarged consisting of the small cysts which are found on the outer edge of the ovaries.

Due to infrequent or the prolonged periods, excessive hair growth as well as the acne, PCOS occurs. In teenagers, infrequent menstruation could be one of the major symptoms of PCOS. The exact cause of the disease is unknown. However, with an early diagnosis, the risk of the long term complications can be ruled out, such as Diabetes Type 2 or Heart Disease.

Causes of PCOS

The real reason for PCOS is unknown. However, some of the likely factors are as follows:

  • Excessive Insulin: Insulin as a hormone is produced in the pancreas and it allows the cells of the body to use sugar as the major source of energy. However, if a person has insulin resistance, then the ability to use the insulin is impaired and this leads to the pancreas to secrete more insulin. Due to the excessive amount of insulin, the androgen production is boosted.
  • Low Inflammation: The WBC’s in the body produce substances which fight against the infections. The response to this is known as inflammation. However, due to insulin resistance, there is a cholesterol accumulation in the blood vessels. This accumulation leads to cardiovascular diseases. In women who suffer from PCOS, the low grade inflammation is very rampant.
  • Heredity Factors: If a person already has PCOS in the family, then the chances of you developing the same are also increased. Mutant genes also play a great role in the disease occurrence.
  • Abnormal Foetal Development: Excessive exposure to the male hormones can prevent the normal genes to work in the way that they are supposed to. This increases the chance for the insulin resistance and can work out to contribute towards PCOS.

Signs and Symptoms of PCOS

Some of the major signs and symptoms of PCOS are as follows:

  • Menstrual Abnormality: This is the most common symptom of the disease. Generally, in this disease, the cycles can last for a period of 35 days or more. Often, the women fail to menstruate for a period of four months or more.
  • Excessive androgen: Excessive amount of androgen can result in the physical characteristics such as excessive facial hair or adult acne. Often, male pattern baldness is another one of the symptoms which detects PCOS.
  • Polycystic Ovaries: This contains of enlarged ovaries which contain different small cysts that can be easily diagnosed with the help of the ultrasound tests.

It is recommended to see a doctor in case you have the above mentioned symptoms. The treatment of the condition is greatly dependent on the syndrome type and the progression of the disease.

Tests and Diagnosis of PCOS

There are no specific tests in order to diagnose the PCOS. However, some of processes for the diagnosis are as follows:

  • Checking the medical History: In this, the doctor may be asking you for the menstrual history as well as the changes in the weight accompanied with other syndromes.
  • Physical Examination: In this, several pieces of information regarding the height, weight as well as blood pressure are noted.
  • Pelvic Examination: In this, the doctor manually examines the reproductive organs for the signs of any masses, growth or abnormalities.
  • Blood Tests: In this, the blood is drawn from the measure of the hormones in order to look for the changes. Also, additional blood testing is done for checking the cholesterol as well as the triglyceride levels with the help of a glucose tolerance tests.
  • Pelvic Ultrasound: The ultrasound is done in order to check the ovaries and the thickness of the uterus. Inaudible sound waves are installed into the ovaries for checking the images of the same on the computer screen.

Treatment and Drugs for PCOS

PCOS’s treatment is basically aimed to be treated with the help of the medication as well as the surgery.

Medications: Medications are prescribed in order to regulate the menstrual cycle of the person. a dosage of the birth control pills is done with the combination of synthetic estrogens and progesterone. This decreases the level of the androgen in the body and therefore decrease the risk of the endometrial cancer along with the correction of the abnormal bleeding.

Medications are also given in order to help the person to ovulate. If a woman is trying to conceive, then the medication can help her to ovulate. Clomid and Serophene is the medication which is given in the first part of the menstrual cycle.

Medications are also given to reduce the excessive hair growth and decrease the production of androgen.

Surgery is also done in order to help the person to become pregnant with the help of laparoscopic ovarian drilling. A small incision is made in the abdomen of the person and the doctor with the help of a laparoscope looks at the images of the pelvic organs. Holes are burnt in the follicles and on the surface of ovaries. This goes out to induce the ovulation in women.

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