what is polycystic ovary syndrome

Here we are going to share information on the topic “what is polycystic ovary syndrome.” PCOS, also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a common hormonal disorder. It results in infertility, excessive hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles, and acne. The course of treatment for PCOS is determined by your desire to conceive. People with PCOS may be at higher risk for certain health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure.

what is polycystic ovary syndrome
what is polycystic ovary syndrome

The polycystic ovarian syndrome: what is it?

The condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance brought on by an overabundance of hormones produced by the ovaries, the organ that produces and releases eggs. Your ovaries create androgens (male hormones) in abnormally high amounts if you have PCOS. Your reproductive hormones fall out of balance as a result.

Consequently, irregular menstrual cycles, missing periods, and uncertain ovulation are common in PCOS patients. Due to insufficient ovulation, small follicular cysts—fluid-filled sacs containing immature eggs—might be seen on your ovaries during an ultrasound (anovulation). Contrary to what the term “polycystic” suggests, PCOS is not always associated with ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts don’t hurt or pose a threat.

One of the most frequent reasons why women and those who are assigned female at birth cannot conceive is PCOS (AFAB). Additionally, it may make you more susceptible to other illnesses. Your doctor can treat PCOS depending on your symptoms and if you want to get pregnant.

Signs and Origins

What symptoms indicate PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome?

The following are the most typical PCOS symptoms and signs:

  • Period irregularities: Missing periods or not getting a period at all are signs of abnormal menstruation. It could also result in severe menstrual bleeding.
  • Unusual hair growth: You can have a lot of facial hair or a lot of hair growing on your arms, chest, and belly (hirsutism). Up to 70% of PCOS patients experience this.
  • Acne: Particularly on the face, back, and chest, PCOS can result in acne. Acne can persist well into adolescence and can be challenging to cure.
  • Obesity: Approximately 40 to 80 percent of PCOS patients are obese and struggle to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Skin darkening: You may develop black spots on your skin, particularly around your breasts, in the groyne (the area between your legs), under your neck folds, and under your armpits. We call this acanthosis nigricans.
  • Cysts: On ultrasound, the ovaries of many PCOS patients seem bigger or to have numerous follicles (egg sac cysts).
  • Skin tags: Skin tags are tiny, additional skin flaps. They are frequently discovered on your neck or in your armpits.
  • Hair loss: Individuals with PCOS may experience hair loss in certain areas of their heads or even go bald.
  • Infertility: The most frequent cause of infertility in AFAB individuals is PCOS. Inability to conceive may be caused by irregular or infrequent ovulation.
I don’t have any symptoms; may I still have PCOS?

Yes, it is true that PCOS can exist without any symptoms. Many people don’t even become aware they have the illness until they experience difficulty becoming pregnant or start accumulating weight for no apparent reason. Mild PCOS is another possibility if your symptoms aren’t bad enough for you to notice them.

what is polycystic ovary syndrome

What is PCOS’s primary cause?

We don’t know the precise cause of PCOS. There is proof that heredity matters. In addition to them, obesity is the most significant factor that contributes to PCOS.

  • Greater concentrations of androgens, or male hormones: Your ovaries are unable to release eggs due to high testosterone levels, which results in irregular menstruation cycles. Irregular ovulation can also cause tiny, fluid-filled sacs to grow on your ovaries. For women and people with AFAB, high testosterone also results in acne and excessive hair growth.
  • Insulin resistance: Your ovaries produce and release male hormones when your insulin levels rise (androgens). Male hormone excesses suppress ovulation and exacerbate other PCOS symptoms. Insulin facilitates the body’s use of glucose, or sugar, as fuel. Your body doesn’t process insulin correctly if you have insulin resistance, which raises blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance can cause diabetes; however, not all people with it have high blood sugar or diabetes. Obesity or being overweight might also aggravate insulin resistance. Even if your blood glucose level is normal, a high insulin level may be a sign of insulin resistance.
  • Low-grade inflammation: Chronic low-grade inflammation is a common symptom of PCOS patients. Blood tests that evaluate white blood cell and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels can be performed by your healthcare provider to determine the degree of inflammation in your body.

Is PCOS a factor in miscarriages?

Despite the fact that the majority of women and people with PCOS are able to carry a pregnancy to term, having PCOS may raise your risk for specific pregnancy issues. Pregnancy-related PCOS problems also include an elevated risk of:

Gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and high blood pressure.

Preterm birth—defined as a pregnancy ending before 37 weeks—or C-section delivery brought on by diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure

Diagnoses and Examinations

The method used to diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Upon examination and discussion of your symptoms, your healthcare professional can typically make the diagnosis of PCOS. They may conduct blood tests or do an ultrasound to help with the diagnosis.

Your medical professional will:

  • Discuss your medical history and symptoms with you.
  • Inquire about the medical history of your biological family.
  • Take your blood pressure and weight into account.
  • Conduct a physical examination, paying particular attention to skin tags, discoloured skin, acne, hair loss, and excessive facial hair.
  • To check for further causes of irregular bleeding, do a pelvic exam.
  • Get blood tests done to measure glucose and hormone levels.
  • To examine your ovaries, measure the thickness of your uterine lining, and search for further reasons why you are bleeding abnormally, have a pelvic ultrasound performed.
Which three symptoms are used to diagnose PCOS?

If you exhibit at least two of the following three symptoms, PCOS is typically diagnosed by medical professionals:

  • Irregular or absent menstruation When they do get their period, some PCOS patients experience extremely severe bleeding.
  • Signs of excess androgens, such as acne or excessive hair growth. or a blood test that verifies elevated amounts of androgen.
  • Ovarian enlargement or polycystic appearance on ultrasonography A lot of people never get cysts.

what is polycystic ovary syndrome

Handling and Medical Interventions

How does one cure polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Treatment will be decided by your healthcare practitioner depending on your symptoms, medical history, other health issues, and desire to become pregnant. Medication, lifestyle modifications, or a mix of the two may be used as treatments.

Treatment options if you don’t intend to get pregnant include:

  • Hormonal birth control: birth control tablets, patches, injections, vaginal rings, and intrauterine devices (IUD) are among the options. In addition to helping with excessive hair growth and acne, hormonal birth control can help you manage your menstrual cycle.
  • Metformin is an insulin-sensitizing medication used to treat diabetes. It functions by assisting the body’s insulin processing. Some PCOS patients experience improvements in their menstrual cycles once their insulin levels are under control.
  • Drugs that block androgens: Certain drugs have the ability to block the effects of androgens. This aids in managing hair growth or acne. To find out if a certain treatment is appropriate for you, consult your healthcare professional.
  • Lifestyle modifications: Eating a well-balanced diet and keeping a healthy weight can help regulate insulin levels

Treatment for PCOS involves the following if you wish to get pregnant now or in the future:

  • Medicine to cause the release of an egg, or ovulation: The start of a fruitful pregnancy is ovulation. It has been demonstrated that several medications cause ovulation in PCOS patients. Gonadotropins are administered intravenously; clomiphene and letrozole are taken orally.
  • Surgery: By excising the androgen-producing tissue from your ovaries, surgery can help you regain ovulation. Nowadays, with more advanced drugs at their disposal, surgeons hardly ever do this surgery.
  • When medicine is ineffective in promoting ovulation, individuals with PCOS may consider in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Before putting your egg in your uterus, your provider fertilises it in a lab using the sperm of your spouse.
Can someone with PCOS become pregnant?

It is possible to become pregnant with PCOS. Although PCOS can increase the risk of some pregnancy issues and make it difficult to conceive, many people with PCOS are able to become pregnant on their own. Together, you and your doctor will create a plan of care to facilitate ovulation. Medication or assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilisation, may be part of your treatment plan (IVF).

Make sure you comprehend your treatment plan and how to improve your chances of a successful pregnancy by speaking with your healthcare professional.

Prevention (what is polycystic ovary syndrome)

Can PCOS or its effects be avoided?

Although there isn’t a known technique to stop PCOS, you can manage your symptoms with minor changes. You can prevent the effects of PCOS, for instance, by eating healthily, exercising frequently, and maintaining a body weight that is appropriate for you.

Does having PCOS increase my risk of developing other illnesses?

According to research, having PCOS increases your risk of developing a number of illnesses, such as:

  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia.
  • Endometrial cancer.
  • Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
  • Depression and anxiety.

Make sure you understand your risk of acquiring these problems by speaking with your healthcare practitioner.

How do I handle having PCOS?

Answer: Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight are some of the best strategies to manage PCOS. By altering your lifestyle, you may be able to control your menstrual cycle and alleviate symptoms by affecting hormone levels.

Cosmetic procedures or consulting with a dermatologist may be beneficial if excessive hair growth or acne is undermining your confidence.

Lastly, remember that you’re not alone if you have PCOS and are trying to conceive. One in ten persons suffer with PCOS. If you wish to become pregnant, your healthcare professional will collaborate with you to make that happen.

What age is the onset of PCOS?

PCOS can strike AFAB women and males at any point following puberty. When trying to conceive, most people are diagnosed in their 20s or 30s. Obesity and PCOS in other members of your biological family may increase your risk of developing PCOS.

What is the prevalence of PCOS?

Up to 15% of women and adults AFAB who are of reproductive age have PCOS, indicating how common the condition is.

When ought I to visit my medical professional?

If you think you may have PCOS, get in touch with a medical professional. Among the symptoms that could indicate PCOS are:

  • An erratic monthly cycle. Often, menstrual cycles are lengthy (longer than 40 days between periods).
  • acne, excessive hair growth, or other indicators of high androgen hormone levels
  • Difficulty getting pregnant.
what is polycystic ovary syndrome
what is polycystic ovary syndrome

FAQ (what is polycystic ovary syndrome)

1. What are the symptoms of PCOD in females?

Answer: irregular periods or no periods at all. having trouble becoming pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or no ovulation) excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – generally on the face, chest, back or buttocks. gaining weight

2. Can PCOS be treated?

Answer: While there is no known cure for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), its symptoms can be controlled. Because a person with PCOS may have many symptoms, or just one, treatment options can differ.

3. At what age PCOS starts?

Answer: PCOS can affect women of all racial and cultural backgrounds. Women who struggle to conceive frequently discover they have PCOS, but the condition frequently manifests as early as age 11 or 12, shortly after the first menstrual cycle. The 20s and 30s can also be when it develops.

4. What are the 4 stages of PCOS

Answer: The Four PCO Types

  1. Insulin-resistant PCOS. One of the most prevalent forms of PCOS is brought on by elevated insulin levels in the body.
  2. Inflammatory kind of PCOS.
  3. Adrenal PCOS
  4. Post-pill PCOS

5. Can a girl with PCOD get pregnant?

Answer: Yes, PCOD sufferers can become pregnant. However, they will probably need to control their symptoms and keep a healthy weight. Medication and positive lifestyle adjustments are all that are required. However, there are situations when using fertility drugs by themselves is ineffective for your condition.

6. Is PCOS ever cured?

Answer: Although PCOS has no known treatment, your doctor can help you manage your symptoms. Over time, PCOS may have different affects on you, making you less conscious of the illness. Nevertheless, there isn’t a cure that works forever.

7. Is it possible to have PCOS and be menopaused?

Answer: The symptoms of PCOS are frequently resolved by the hormonal changes that occur with menopause. No matter your age, consult your healthcare professional if your symptoms are affecting your quality of life.


what is polycystic ovary syndrome

To sum up, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a complicated and intricate health issue that affects a large number of people globally. It’s clear from our exploration of PCOS’s many facets in this blog that the condition affects not just the reproductive system but also one’s metabolism, hormones, and mental health. Even though the precise origin of PCOS is still unknown, early detection and successful treatment depend on an awareness of the condition’s symptoms, risk factors, and potential complications.

Providing people with information on PCOS is essential to encouraging preventative healthcare behaviours. The knowledge raised by conversations such as these is crucial, regardless of whether you have PCOS or are a friend, family member, or medical professional who is supporting someone who does. A comprehensive approach to lifestyle modifications, prompt medical guidance, and identification of the symptoms can all greatly aid in the effective management of PCOS symptoms.

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