The most common hormonal disorder in women in reproductive age, particularly those between 18 and 44, the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also affect girls younger than 12. PCOS affects approximately 10 to 15 women in America.
The most common factors which contribute to PCOS are obesity, not enough physical exercise, testosterone overproduction (male hormone), and family history of PCOS.
Another common cause is insulin resistance as well, since it increases the levels of testosterone. Insulin is the hormone which is responsible for reducing the blood sugar. In case of insulin resistance, this hormone is not able to reduce the blood sugar, thus it raises to risky levels. As a consequence, the body starts producing more insulin until the insulin levels become really high.
The most common infertility cause is PCOS. It leads to anovulatory infertility, meaning there is no ovulation, which is the reproductive process in which a mature egg is produced once a month by the ovaries. PCOS cannot be cured, but there are certain lifestyle changes such as weight loss and more physical activity which can notably restrain the symptoms.
Moreover, birth control pills and medications like clomiphene and metformin are also used to treat PCOS. In order to reduce the physical symptoms of PCOS, women undergo cosmetic procedures like the laser.
Early Detection of the Symptoms
Women don’t usually mind the PCOS symptoms since they are not so serious and they rarely relate them with hormonal issues. Because of this, a number of women only become aware they have PCOS once they get pregnant.
In this article, read about 10 of the most common symptoms of PCOS.
- Inconsistent periods
Menstrual cycle which is constantly irregular is the most common PCOS symptom. This issues lead to an overload of testosterone in the body, which then leads to cysts growth in the ovaries. Those cysts prevent ovulation, thus preventing menstruation.
Irregular period are normal in teenagers, but this can be true in some causes only, while it can be a sign of PCOS in others.
- (Primary amenorrhea) Absence of Menstruation
This symptom is not that common like period which are irregular and secondary amenorrhea, a condition in which women stop having a normal cycle for half a year or longer.
Primary amenorrhea is an issue in which a teenage girl does not get her first period till she is 16 or older. This can be as a consequence of testosterone release, but in this cause it completely prevents menstruation.
Absence of menstruation can be caused by a number of things, but PCOS is certainly one of them.
- Excessive Body and Facial Hair
Hirsutism is a condition manifested by excessive growth of hair both on the body and on the face and this condition comes as a consequence of an overload of testosterone.
The body parts where there is excess hair growth are usually the stomach, chest, thighs, legs, and arms, the area round the jaw and the chin and the upper lip.
- Thinning and Hair Loss
Thinning and sudden hair loss are signs of hormonal imbalance, particularly PCOS. In case of PCOS, there is a testosterone overload in the body which goes to the scalp and transforms to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) once it contacts the enzymes which are found on the hair follicles. When these two bind, the hair follicles shrink, slowing down the process of hair growth, thus making the hair thinner and thinner.
Acne, which remain even after your 20s or after you have turned 25, are a sign of PCOS. This also occurs as a consequence of testosterone overload.
Acne which are related to PCOS usually occur round the upper neck, the jaw line, chin and cheeks. These acne remain longer than the normal acne and they can flare up just prior the monthly period.
- Difficulty Losing Weight, Weight Gain and Obesity
Women with PCOS tend to have slower metabolism and more pounds than what is normal for structure of the body and weight. Approximately 50% of women who have PCOS are either obese or overweight, according to a study from 2002.
Not being able to lose weight is one of the most usual PCOS symptoms.
- High Blood Pressure
PCOS can lead to cardiovascular disorders. PCOS patients usually suffer from hypertension, especially women who have an elevated body mass index (BMI), as stated in a study from 2015.
- Unusual skin discoloration
PCOS can cause skin abnormality which is presented by black thick patches, which usually appear between the thighs, breasts, armpits, navel, forehead, neck folds, hands, knees, and around the groin. This is known as acanthosis nigricans.
Also, insulin resistance can cause skin discoloration.
Women who have PCOS are under a lot of stress due to hirsitism. If you notice that you are constantly stressed out and you have other symptoms as well, you might be suffering from PCOS.
Depression comes together with any hormonal imbalance. Since women with PCOS experience a number of symptoms they are not in a good mood. According to a study from 2011 women with PCOS had increases levels of anxiety and depression.