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technology 25 Nov 2019

PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

By Precious Joely

PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, is not often understood by many health caregivers. The main cause of PCOS is not established, but it may involve a number of genetic and environmental factors. Polycystic refers to numerous partially formed follicles on the ovaries, known as cysts, that form in the ovaries. PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal number of androgens, thus affecting how a woman’s ovaries work. This condition is incurable, but several treatments can be provided to alleviate the symptoms.

PCOS affects 1 in 10 women of reproductive age. It is the most common hormonal endocrine disorder among women, yet most women are unaware of it until they strive to get pregnant without success.

There are telltale symptoms of PCOS, but a medical diagnosis through ultrasound is required to diagnose this condition. The most common symptoms experienced are:

  • Irregular menstrual periods or no periods at all
  • Fertility issues
  • Hirsutism, i.e., excessive hair growth on the face, chest, or back
  • Acne
  • Weight gain or obesity

These symptoms usually become apparent when a woman is in her late teens or early twenties. Not all women with PCOS will show these symptoms and can vary from mild to severe.

Having PCOS can also increase the chances of developing other health conditions in life. Type II Diabetes, Depression, High blood pressure, and endometrial cancer are some health problems that women with PCOS can develop later in life.

However, not all hope is lost once a woman is diagnosed with PCOS. Good health practices and treatments will not only address the symptoms but also manage them long-term. Depending on the symptoms, management of PCOS can include:

  • Uptake of regular physical activity
  • Intake of healthier diet options, like reducing sugar and highly processed carbs
  • Taking vitamins and supplements
  • Medication to balance hormones

PCOS is a condition that may have the potential to change a woman’s life. Therefore, once diagnosed, it would be prudent to learn as much as possible and debunk all the myths surrounding PCOS. It is possible to live a complete, healthy life with PCOS.

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