PCOS as it is commonly known as stands for Poly cystic ovarian syndrome.
The increasing awareness about this term to the extent that patients come to our clinic and say “Doctor I am a PCO” makes some part of the job of a gynecologist easier. At least we don’t have to explain the condition to our patients.
And the credit for all this goes to our fellow Radiologists who give this diagnosis on ultrasound reports and make patients aware of that they have cysts, and also some to Cosmetologists who treat Hirsutism, hair loss and acne and guide the patients that they may be suffering from hormonal problem PCOS. But all said and done, this rapidly increasing incidences of PCOS are becoming rampant among females from adolescent to middle age.
What is its cause? What are the repercussions?
Does it need treatment? When? Why?
All these questions need an answer.
Let’s start with PCOS first. It is a metabolic disorder in which some metabolic process of the body gets affected and produces hormonal imbalance which results in various symptoms, leading it to be called a syndrome. Symptoms can be –
- excess androgen – In this condition, the person’s tissues become resistant to the insulin being secreted in the body and this leads to Hyperandrogenemia i.e. increase of Androgens or the Male hormones. This may cause some physical signs like excess facial or body hair as well.
- irregular periods – The above affects the ovulation process in females also and leads to delayed menses, and even sometimes the patient misses it for couple of months.
- polycystic ovaries – Also chronic ovulation leads to accumulation of follicles in the ovary. Because these follicles are not growing and ovulating, they keep accumulating in the ovary and give a picture of PCO on ultrasound. There is no pathological cyst contrary to the name as it suggests and does not need any surgical treatment.
Now why are the PCOS incidences increasing?
It is increasing because of
- Genetic predisposition
- Obesity in adolescent age
- Increase intake of junk food
- Less of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Lack of exercise
What are its repercussion?
Apart from disturbing symptoms like
- Undesired hair growth
- Weight gain
- Irregular menses
- Thinning of scalp hair
It has some long term effects
- Sub fertility
- Cardiac problems
- Endometrial Cancer
The major line of treatment is
- Bring life style changes by eating healthy food (fresh fruits and vegetables), exercising and avoiding processed food
- Weight loss
- Certain drugs like myoinositol, Myo+dichyroinisitol in comb, metformin can be prescribed by the expert
- Specific symptoms like hirsutism, Acne and obesity are treated individually
It’s always better to catch it early by getting the right advice.
Don’t let PCOS affect your life today and in future.
Don’t delay and visit the Gynae today!!