PCOS Explained


What is PCOS?

Menstrual cycles are an important part of every female's life. Starting from the age of around 12 years, every woman experiences the menstrual cycle which lasts for about 2-7 days. There are many conditions/complications that can arise with the changes that a woman's body goes through and one of them is PCOS.

PCOS is a female reproductive disorder that affects 5-10% of all women mainly during their reproductive years. The disease is characterised by the presence of multiple cysts in the ovaries.  It is characterized by enlarged ovaries containing small collections of fluid, called cysts (As the name suggests - Polycystic [many cysts] ovary syndrome). 

This syndrome can also cause other hormonal imbalances in the body. 

In PCOS, the ovaries produce small, abnormally developed eggs. These eggs can be released from the ovaries leading to irregular periods or no periods at all or even excess bleeding and recurrent periods (several times in single month). In most cases, it is a result of insulin resistance. 

It is an endocrine system disorder that can cause problems with menstruation, ovulation, fertility and hormone production.  It affects how a woman's ovaries function and is the leading cause for female infertility.

Patients with PCOS have hormonal imbalance that can cause severe problems, if left untreated. Women of all ages can suffer from PCOS but it is most common in women of childbearing age.

Symptoms & Complications:

  • Changes in menstruation (missed, irregular or very light periods).
  • Weight gain
  • Abnormal hair growth Excessive thinning of hair on scalp
  • Darkening of the skin or thick skin patches on the back of the neck, in the armpits, and under the breasts
  • Acne
  • Severe Headaches
  • Small chunks of excess skin on the neck or armpits (skin tags)

It is also possible that the symptoms are caused by the body producing too little estrogen. The symptoms are often treated with medications to help balance out the hormones. There are also non-medical treatments that can be used to treat the symptoms. For example, focusing on a healthier diet and exercising more can help with the symptoms. One can also benefit from taking supplements for improved hormone balance.

 Complications that can arise due to PCOS include :

  •  Irregular menstrual cycle
  •  Infertility
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes 
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Lipid abnormalities
  • Arthrosclerosis (Stiffness or hardening of the joints.)
  • Varicose veins
  • Binge eating
  • Bleeding from the uterus and a higher risk of uterine cancer

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is based on the presence of two of the three following features: oligo- or anovulation, clinical and/or biochemical hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound examination.

??Because nearly 30% of women with PCOS have reduced glucose tolerance, deductions of glucose tolerance and insulin resistance are of utmost importance specially in women with a family history of glucose intolerance, morbid obesity, or other symptoms that are suggestive of diabetes. One method is to carry out standard oral glucose tolerance testing with insulin levels. Extreme levels of insulin that go beyond 100 ? U per mL (718 pmol per L) are suggestive of insulin resistance. 

There are certain blood/hormonal tests that can help you determine the presence or severity of the disease:-

  • Free and Total Testosterone test

Approximately 98% of the total testosterone the body produces are sure to be either of both- the sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), or albumin. This is often referred to as "bound testosterone." and the 2% that's left is called as "free testosterone." The free testosterone levels may help in the diagnosis of PCOS.

  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test

FSH is produced by the pituitary gland. It stimulates the growth of an egg follicle within the ovary. The levels of this hormones will be normal or low with PCOS.

  • Luteinising Hormone (LH) Test 

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is also produced by the pituitary gland. The surge of Luteinizing hormone triggers the release of the egg during ovulation. Most women with PCOS will have FSH levels that are lower than the LH levels.

  • Serum Prolactin Test

Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland whose basic role is encouraging lactation in women. Elevated levels of this hormone can cause irregular menstrual cycle or a total lack of menstruation. 

More additional tests for a certain diagnosis of PCOS include: 

  1. Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) - Increased levels of this are often seen with PCOS
  2. Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) -Levels may be reduced in PCOS
  3. Estrogens - Levels may be normal or elevated
  4. DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate test) - Levels may be elevated in PCOS
  5. Androstenedione - Levels may be elevated in PCOS.

Summary:

If you are suffering from PCOS, remember you are not alone. It's important to know about the syndrome you can seek treatment once you have been diagnosed with it. In PCOS, is a condition that impacts a woman's hormones and their ability to regulate the body.

There is no cure for PCOS, but there are ways to manage it and reduce symptoms. We hope you found this blog post helpful, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask your healthcare provider.

There are certain blood/hormonal tests that can help you determine the presence or severity of the disease. The most recommended treatment for PCOS are lifestyle changes. Eating healthier food that can help curb the symptoms and regularly exercising along with mediation and yoga to beat stress has proven to help women control PCOS symptoms.

Unipath specialty laboratory provides home sample collection for your convenience and a range of hormonal blood tests which include

  • Free and Total Testosterone test,
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test,
  • Luteinising Hormone (LH) Test,
  • Serum Prolactin Test, Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH),
  • Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG),
  • Estrogens,
  • DHEAS,
  • Androstenedione

                                                                          Whatsapp on 6356005900 for booking or visit https://www.unipath.in/


Share :