Understanding PCOS in depth
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, 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 for 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 for PCOS.
PCOS can be a result of :
- Disturbance in the HPO axis,
- Hyperandrogenaemia, or
- Some genetic causes.
Few common symptoms of PCOS:
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 your 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.
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. With strategies including lifestyle changes, ovulation-inducing medications, surgery, and other fertility treatments mean most women with PCOS will be able to become pregnant.
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.
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 like7 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even endometrial cancer.
While weight gain doesn’t cause PCOS, but PCOS can make it harder to manage your weight.
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.
Anxiety, distress, depression, and eating disorders are more common in women suffering from PCOS.
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 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, 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 lead to the development of patches of thick, velvety, skin that’s darker than your normal skin tone. Called Acanthosis nigricans, this is common among PCOS suffering women .
small skin growths especially found around armpits, neck, and groin.
Swelling In Legs Or Feet
Some women could also notice swelling in 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.
The inability to concentrate is another common symptom of PCOS.
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 in essential to cope with it better.
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