What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome(PCOS) - its Causes and Symptoms

In India, one out of five women is suffering from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Usually, PCOS is caused due to an imbalance of hormones in women, and excessive secretion of androgens, which leads to causing the formation of cysts in the ovaries. According to reports, 50% of women suffering from PCOS go undiagnosed and do not have proper treatment. One of the major reasons for the same is, assuming irregular periods as the main and major symptom of PCOS, but it is a lesser-known fact that Women with PCOS can also have normal monthly menstrual cycles. In this article, we will discuss the major symptoms which are ignored by many but are alarming signs of PCOS.


Source: Wiki

Causes of PCOS :

  • Stress
  • Disturbance in the HPO axis
  • Hyperandrogenaemia
  • Some genetic causes

Common symptoms of PCOS:

1. Irregular Periods or No Periods at All

Most women suffering from PCOS have unpredictable menstrual cycles with infrequent periods (often long cycle gaps) or no periods at all (amenorrhea). The reason for irregular ovulation or no menstruation is a direct effect of hormone imbalances.

But women with PCOS with normal monthly menstrual cycles can still have PCOS.

2. Difficulty in Getting Pregnant

Polycystic ovary syndrome is the leading cause of infertility in women. Infertility affects about 80% of women with PCOS.

This does not mean that you can’t get pregnant. Strategies including lifestyle changes, ovulation-inducing medications, surgery, and other fertility treatments mean most women with PCOS will be able to become pregnant.

3. Excessive Hair Growth (Hirsutism)

Approx 70% of women with PCOS develop so-called “male-pattern”, i.e., unwanted and thick hair growth on the upper lip, chin, neck, sides of the face, abdomen, lower back, upper arms, and inner thighs.

4. Weight Gain

About 80% of women with PCOS gain weight.

When the body stores more amount of fat than is healthy – especially in your midsection (abdominal fat), it further raises your risk for serious chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even endometrial cancer.

While weight gain doesn’t cause PCOS, PCOS can make it harder to manage your weight.

5. Oily Skin or Acne

The secretion of male hormones that occur in women with PCOS can cause severe acne on your face, chest, and back.

6. Mood Disorders

Anxiety, distress, depression, and eating disorders are more common in women suffering from PCOS.

It is thinning hair and hair loss from the head.


Some Symptoms That People Aren’t Aware of PCOS:-

  • Women with PCOS, Wake Up Feeling Tired due to : 

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where your breathing is interrupted while you sleep, resulting in insufficient oxygen to your brain. Insomnia can make it difficult to fall asleep, which is linked to PCOS.

Eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are common among women with PCOS. Insulin resistance and high insulin levels can develop patches of thick, velvety skin that are darker than your normal skin tone. Called Acanthosis nigricans, this is common among PCOS-suffering women.

  • Skin Tags

small skin growths are especially found around armpits, neck, and groin.

  • Swelling In Legs Or Feet

Some women could also notice swelling in their legs and feet. Imbalanced, fluctuating hormones are often the culprit.

  • Migraines Or Headaches

Women with PCOS often report an increase in the frequency of headaches or migraine attacks.

  • Inability to concentrate

The inability to concentrate is another common symptom of PCOS. 

  • Frequent urge

Frequent urge at night before sleeping is also a symptom of PCOS.

Irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and excess hair growth are the major clinical PCOS symptoms that directly point to excessive male hormones. However, sometimes even clinical advisors aren’t able to diagnose PCOS. The correct way to diagnose could be by looking for ‘the story behind the story, considering a wider range of symptoms to diagnose PCOS-like conditions and treating them. Understanding PCOS in-depth is essential to cope with it better. 


In conclusion, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects millions of women around the globe and it has a significant impact on their quality of life. The symptoms vary, but the treatment is almost always the same; this medication or that medication (or even anovulation treatment) – the only difficulty is deciding which one. It is a medical condition that deserves to be included in discussions concerning reproductive and sexual health.

The good news is there are a variety of good treatment options for the various features of PCOS, ranging from lifestyle changes to medications to help manage symptoms and even more invasive treatments. If you suspect you have Polycystic ovarian syndrome, talk to your doctor or visit our website and contact us for better treatment.


3 Thoughts on “Understanding PCOS in Depth”

  1. Kriti
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Q1. How do you know when you have PCOS?

A. Women typically need to exhibit two of the following three symptoms in order to be diagnosed with PCOS: irregular or missing times. Acne, excessive face or body hair growth, hair loss on the scalp, or high blood levels of testosterone and hormones comparable to it. An ultrasound reveals a polycystic (multiple cysts) condition.

Q2. At what age does PCOS start?

A. Women frequently realize they have PCOS when they have problems getting pregnant, however, it frequently manifests as early as age 11 or 12, just a few months after the first menstrual cycle. In the 20s or 30s, it might also manifest.

Q3. Can I get pregnant with PCOS?

A. Can someone with PCOS still become pregnant? Yes. Even if you have PCOS, you can still become pregnant. One of the most prevalent but manageable reasons for infertility in women is PCOS.

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Ridhima Arora

Ridhima Arora is an Indian entrepreneur, author, trained yoga instructor, and practicing nutritionist. She is the founder of Namhya Foods.Besides being the founder of Namhya foods, Ridhima also gives nutrition coaching in seminars to kids, NGOs, and corporates. She also works as a freelancer at Global Changemakers.