Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

polycystic ovarian syndromePolycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition which primarily affects women who are in their childbearing years.

An estimated 10% to 20% of women in that age group have this health problem.

This hormonal disorder is named due to the multiples cysts which appear on the ovaries of the majority of women who have PCOS.

The cysts line the outer edges of the ovaries, somewhat like pearls on a string. Typically the ovaries are enlarged as well.

Symptoms

Polycystic ovarian syndrome can be a troubling disorder. Because the cysts interfere with the menstrual cycle, many women with PCOS either have irregular periods or no periods at all. For those who do have periods, the flow can vary greatly, from scanty bleeding to unusually heavy bleeding. The disruptions to the ovulation cycle make PCOS one of the primary causes of infertility in females. This can be especially challenging for a woman who is trying to become pregnant.

Other potential symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome include tendencies towards high cholesterol and high blood pressure, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Because the cysts contain androgen, typically considered a male hormone, women with PCOS may develop male pattern baldness or thinning hair, an excessive amount of hair growth on their face and body (known as hirsutism), weight gain and acne. These symptoms, as well as the infertility issues, can lead to bouts of depression and anxiety for those with this disorder.

Causes

Despite significant research into the disorder, it has not yet been determined exactly what causes polycystic ovarian syndrome. Current theories suggest that there may be several factors involved in its development. Since women who have this disorder often have a sister or mother with the condition, there is the possibility of a genetic component.

The hormone insulin may also play a role in the development of PCOS. Women who have PCOS tend to have problems utilizing insulin, which results in too much insulin in their bodies. When there is too much insulin, androgen production increases. High levels of androgen cause many of the symptoms often found in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Diagnosis

There is no current “test” for detecting polycystic ovarian syndrome. Often it is discovered when a woman goes to her doctor due to one or more of the symptoms which typically accompany it. The physician will get your medical history, including information about things like weight changes and menstrual patterns. This will usually be followed by a routine physical exam as well as a pelvic exam.

During the pelvic exam, the physician will look for any problems with your reproductive organs. A blood test may also be indicated to check hormone levels, as well as cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The physician may also do a pelvic ultrasound. This will allow a closer look at the ovaries as well as the uterus. If tiny or small cysts are present they can be detected by an ultrasound.

Treatment

The course of treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome will vary based on several factors. For women who desire to have children, fertility treatment is often indicated. Birth control pills may be prescribed for those not trying to become pregnant; they can help normalize the menstrual cycle and reduce the levels of androgen that are produced. For some women, a laparoscopy may be indicated which will help decrease androgen levels and stimulate ovulation if pregnancy is a goal.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome can be a challenging disorder. It is important that you seek out the guidance of your doctor to determine how to best manage your symptoms. Learn the 3 steps to curing ovarian cysts and PCOS naturally within 8 weeks now!