Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
A now-so- common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age, a leading cause of infertility—affecting nearly 35 percent of women in their reproductive years and more than 90 percent of obese women.
The incidence of PCOS is rising, perhaps due to changing lifestyles, particularly, altered diet and exercise patterns. Its primary cause remains unclear.
Infrequent or irregular menstrual periods missed periods, failure to menstruate for four months or longer, obesity, infertility, pelvic pain, acne, excess facial and body hair (hirsutism) and thinning of hair on the scalp can all occur in women with PCOS.
Polycystic ovaries become enlarged and contain numerous small fluid-filled sacs which surround the eggs.
In the last decade, it has been shown that PCOS is an insulin-resistant state. This means there is too much insulin which is likely to cause testosterone overproduction by the ovaries. High levels of testosterone lead to an absence of egg release (anovulation), amenorrhea (missed periods) and infertility. Symptoms begin to show up around puberty and start of menstruation. However, many do not develop symptoms until their mid-20s.
Having PCOS may make the following conditions more likely, especially if obesity also is a factor:
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of signs and symptoms that indicate a significantly increased risk of
Depression and anxiety
Abnormal uterine bleeding
Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer), caused by exposure to continuously high levels of
Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
Women must make lifestyle changes to overcome PCOS.
Be patient. Part II (treatment of PCOS) coming soon.