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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) refers to a hormonal disorder which is common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS might have infrequent or extended menstrual periods or surplus male hormone(androgen) levels. In this ovaries may develop many small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to frequently release eggs.

Symptoms:

  • Irregular periods: The most common signs of PCOS are infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles. For example, you may have fewer than ten periods a year, more than 35 days between cycles and abnormally heavy periods.
  • Excess androgen: Excess of male hormone results in physical signs, like excess facial and body hair, and sometimes severe acne and baldness.
  • Polycystic ovaries: Sometimes ovaries get enlarged and hold follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries fail to function regularly.

Causes:

  • Excess insulin- Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that lets cells to use sugar, your body’s primary energy supply. If your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then your blood sugar levels can upsurge and your body might produce more insulin. Excess insulin also causes androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.
  • Heredity: Research suggests that certain genes could be linked to PCOS.
  • Excess androgen: The ovaries produce unusually high levels of androgen, resulting in acne.
  • Low-grade inflammation: This term is used to describe white blood cells’ production of substances to fight infection. Several types of research done showing that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, which can result in heart and blood vessel problems.

Treatment

PCOS treatment focuses more on managing your individual concerns, such as infertility, hirsute, acne or obesity. Specific treatment might involve lifestyle changes or medication.

  • Lifestyle changes

Doctors many times recommend weight loss through a low-calorie diet combined with moderate exercise activities. Even a modest reduction in your weight can improve your condition. Losing weight also increases the effectiveness of medications the doctor recommends for PCOS and can help with infertility.

Medications:

To regulate your menstrual cycle, the concerned doctor might recommend:

Combination birth control pills- Pills that contain estrogen and progestin decrease androgen production and normalize estrogen. Regulating hormones decreases your risk of endometrial cancer and correct abnormal bleeding, excess hair growth and acne. Instead of pills, you can also use a skin patch or vaginal ring.

Progestin therapy- Taking progestin for 10 to 14 days every one to two months can regulate your periods and guard against endometrial cancer. Progestin therapy doesn’t improve androgen levels and won’t avert pregnancy.