Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOs, is a hormonal issue that 7 in every 10 women grapple with, today. Owing to the lack of awareness, women usually are not able to get the condition diagnosed easily in their lives. The fact that the change in the quantity of the hormones produced by the human body can bring a lot of metabolic and reproductive issues is a concept that a lot of women are not aware of.
The complete cure for Polycystic ovary syndrome is not possible. However many steps can be taken that would heal the symptoms that are a part of this hormonal issue.
Understanding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which the female body produces higher amounts of male hormones. The name of this male hormone is testosterone. This hormone is responsible for the ‘make characteristics’ such as excessive body hair, face hair, lesser hair on the head, dark skin, and many more.
As this male hormone increases, the female body starts having issues with regular monthly periods. At the same time, the reproductive capabilities of women are affected by a great deal. It gets harder for females suffering from Polycystic ovary syndrome to get pregnant as she ages. The menstrual cycles are delayed, and whenever the woman is on period, she gets extremely heavy flows and aching stomach. In the long run, PCOS may lead to diabetes as well.
The Hormonal Issue
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal issue. Most women in their childbearing ages have to deal with it. This hormonal issue mostly affects the ovaries of the affected woman. As the organs of reproduction produce two major female hormones, progesterone and estrogen, which need to stay regulated to keep the hormones balanced. The male hormone, testosterone, is also a part of the female body in a small amount. It is present in the form of androgens. Each month, the ovaries produce androgens, however, in a small amount. Alongside this, the women also release eggs, at the time when they are ovulating.
During the ovulation phase, two major hormones manage the ovulation, which is the luteinizing hormone and Follicle-stimulating hormone. When the female body starts producing the androgens in a quantity higher than required, it leads to a syndrome known as polycystic ovary syndrome. This higher level of androgens in the body leads to irregular periods and cysts in ovaries. Now, these could be one cyst or many cysts, depending upon the severity of the condition.
Why Does It Occur?
There are many reasons why women develop polycystic ovary syndrome, which include:
Resistance to insulin
Insulin resistance is the biggest reason behind the issue of polycystic ovary syndrome. Understanding it is a bit difficult, however, once diagnosed, it can be treated using the right strategies. The hormone of insulin is formed in the pancreas, which aids the human system to utilize the energy that comes from food in the form of sugar.
However, when the body cells stop using this insulin properly, it leads to a surge in the demand of insulin by the body. To solve the issue, the pancreas ends up creating more insulin. As more insulin is created, it leads to the production of a higher level of androgen. Androgen, in turn, causes polycystic ovary syndrome.
Obesity is also a major reason for polycystic ovary syndrome. As obesity increases, the resistance to insulin also enhances.
If your grandmother and mother suffered from polycystic ovary syndrome, there are great chances that it will move to you through the genes.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is also caused by inflammation. One major reason for this inflammation is obesity.
Major Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Some of the major symptoms of PCOs include:
- Hair growth: Facial hair is one major characteristic that distinguishes a man and a woman. However, as the level of testosterone enhances in the women, facial hair starts arising on the female face as well.
- Painful periods or no periods: PCOs will either lead to a disruption in the menstrual cycle or would cause heavy bleeding. In the former, the periods would be skipped while in the latter, periods would cause a lot of bleeding as well as pain.
- Acne: with the androgen level increasing in the female body, the skin gets oily. This acts as a breeding ground for pimples and acne to pop up.
- Hair fall and male pattern baldness: with the androgen increasing in number, hair starts falling leading to male pattern baldness in women. It initially starts as extreme hair fall and further leads to the thning of hair strands on the scalp.
- Mood swings: the rising and lowering of the hormones is an abnormal system. Thus, when the levels of the hormone change, it leads to a lot of mood swings.
Treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Treating polycystic ovary syndrome completely is not possible. However, the symptoms can be mellowed by taking the right steps including:
Diet plays a great role in reducing the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. Reducing weight through diet is the easiest and the most convenient way to reduce the symptoms of PCOs. Though it takes time, it surely is much better than opting for medical treatments, which might come with a lot of side effects. The diet to reduce symptoms of PCOs includes opting for a diet that reduces the number of carbohydrates entering the body.
Metformin or Glucophage is used to manage the insulin production in the body. Mostly in Polycystic ovary syndrome, it is the right way to reduce the symptoms of PCOs.
Birth control pill
Another most common treatment offered by endocrinologists is the birth control pill. As it works great towards regulating the hormones, it is used to control the symptoms of PCOs.
The best way to treat the symptoms of PCOs is surely a good diet, which includes a lot of fruits and fresh vegetables. The more one adds vitamins and minerals in the body, the more are the chances of the body defeating Polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms.