Categories: Gynaecology

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), also known as Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. According to studies, 1 in 5 women in India suffers from PCOS.

This disease can cause irregular periods and can lead to serious repercussions like infertility, acne, diabetes, and obesity at later intervals.

What causes Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Your reproductive organs – ovaries are responsible to produce female sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Along with that, they also make a tiny amount of male sex hormone called ‘androgen’. PCOS is a hormonal disorder where the ovaries produce too much androgens. Higher levels of androgens can prevent the ovaries from releasing the matured egg during the menstrual cycle. This leads to excessive body hair growth, pimples, missed periods, weight gain and acne. Generally, the chances of getting this disease are more if you have a history of PCOS in your family.

Insulin resistance is also a big factor that leads to PCOS. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to enable the body to extract and use sugar from foods. Insulin resistance happens when cells can’t use insulin properly leading the pancreas to produce more insulin. This, in turn, induces the ovaries to produce more male hormones.

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

  • Acne – Male hormones tend to make the skin oilier
  • Abnormal weight gain
  • Hairfall – Can lead to baldness if left untreated
  • Darkening of skin
  • Irregular periods – Fewer than 9 periods per year or/and excessive bleeding
  • Excessive growth of hair on face & body

How can your diet affect Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome ?

Focusing better on your diet can help reduce symptoms that lead to PCOS.

  • Avoid foods like refined flour, dairy products, and carbohydrates
  • Keep a check on your sugar intake to reduce insulin imbalance
  • Include foods with a low glycemic index like oatmeal, converted rice, barley, sweet potato, corn, legumes, lentils, etc. in your diet

How to diagnose & treat Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Testing positive on 2 of the following 3 tests is usually enough to confirm the diagnosis of PCOS:

The common Polycystic Ovaries treatments include:

  1. Birth Control – Birth control pills help to regulate periods.
  2. Diabetes Control – Many drugs cure Type-2 diabetes by regulating the insulin levels. Along with proper exercise and diet control, these drugs can be very effective in restoring the sugar levels in the body.
  3. Fertility Drug – Many fertility drugs are used to induce successful ovulation. But these drugs are also seen to enhance the risk of multiple births in many cases.
  4. Surgery – In cases where other treatments fail, ovarian drilling is performed to treat infertility.

Dr. Farheen Faruque, Consultant Gynaecology & Obstetrics, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Howrah

Narayana Health

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