PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal condition affecting the ovaries. In normal menstrual cycle, there are usually many follicles around 7-8 on an average that start growing and one of these follicles will mature to release egg at ovulation. However, in a woman affected by PCOS, there is an imbalance in the FSH and LH hormone and over production of hormone androgen which makes multiple follicles to grow but none matures to an egg thereby causing infertility due to anovulation.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES PCOS?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but we know that genetics plays an important role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if they inherit diabetic gene from family & Obesity unmasks the symptoms of PCOS.
Overproduction of the hormone androgen (male hormone) may be another contributing factor. Women with PCOS often produce higher-than-normal levels of androgen. This can affect the development and release of egg during ovulation. Excess insulin (a hormone that helps convert sugars and starches into energy) may cause high androgen levels.
Q – WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?
- If you are suffering from anyone of these signs and symptoms of PCOS
Q – WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS/ EFFECTS OF PCOS?
Ans: PCOS affects all 3 stages of women’s life:
- During adolescence: There are acne, excessive hair growth & irregular periods.
- During Reproductive age: There are more chances of infertility and gestational diabetes mellitus.
- After 40’s: There are 5 times increased risk for diabetes and 3 times increased risk in heart disease & uterine cancer for such patients.
PCOS AND INFERTILITY IN WOMEN
The infertility rate with polycystic ovaries is very high. These women usually will have difficulty getting pregnant and usually require treatment to improve chances for pregnancy.
A recent study revealed that about 18% of women in India suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and is increasing further due to increasing obesity.
It is important to see a fertility doctor who understands PCOS properly. If the treatments for PCOS fail, then opting for IVF or in-vitro fertilization may also be the option. However, you need to remember that each case is unique and the conditions may differ from one case to another. So seek the opinion of a good doctor before jumping to any kind of conclusion.
CRITERIA FOR DIAGNOSIS OF PCOS: