Three things to know about Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

September is the Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) month to highlight one of the most common ovulatory disorders in the world.

The condition affects women of reproductive age. It affects the uterus as well as the organs that produce the estrogen and progesterone hormones.  Although the cause of the syndrome is unknown, genetics have been linked to it.

Here are three important things to know about PCOS:

Symptoms

Symptoms of the PCOS include

• Irregular menstrual cycle: women with PCOS may either have fewer or miss their period. For others, their period may come too often or stop having a period altogether.
• Hirsutism, which means too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair.
• Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
• Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp
• Weight gain or hard time losing weight
• Darkening of skin, especially along the neck creases, in the groin, and beneath their breasts
• Small flaps of excess skin in the armpits or neck area

Photo: Mediologiest

Causes

The causes of PCOS is unknown but there are some factors that play in its prevalence. Among them is higher than normal androgen levels in women, which is responsible for the hair growth and acne. It also affects ovulation.

Insulin is also known to have links to PCOS. Most women with the condition have insulin resistance.

Cure

There is no cure for the PCOS, but it can be managed. Some of the proposed ways to manage PCOS include:

  • weight loss to help manage blood glucose and insulin levels in the body
  • hair removal to get rid of excess hair. There are quite a number of options to slow down the rate of hair growth.
  • Prescription medicine to help with managing hormones in the body.  Fertility medicine can also be prescribed for those looking to get pregnant.
  • low-sugar, a low-glycemic diet with regular snacks is also recommended.

All women diagnosed with PCOS should be monitored by a health care provider to avoid risks of other health problems over time.

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