Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects one in 10 women. What happens here is that a woman develops a number of cysts in her ovaries, but is unable to release a mature egg required for fertilisation and a pregnancy. A PCOS affected ovary contains multiple tiny ovarian cysts instead of just one cyst as in a normal ovary. It's mostly an inherited disorder. PCOS has no treatment as such, but losing weight and exercising regularly can normalise menstrual cycle.
What is the common symptom of PCOS?
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The common symptoms of PCOS are all of the above. Diabetes, acne, weight gain, oily skin, heart problems, irregular periods and migraines are other common symptoms. Many women with PCOS are resistant to the action of the hormone insulin used for sugar metabolism. Insulin resistance means that it takes larger than normal amounts of insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Hence, women with PCOS are at an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease, both. As women with PCOS have insulin resistance, they should stick to a diet that a diabetic is advised to follow. That means more fibre, fewer carbs, trans-fats and hydrogenated or saturated oils.
A vaginal ultrasound is the only way to diagnose PCOS.
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There is no one definitive test for PCOS. The doctor usually performs physical and pelvic examinations to look for swollen ovaries or clitoris both signs of PCOS. Usually, vaginal ultrasound and blood tests for checking male hormone levels are done to diagnose this condition. Usually, most women are diagnosed with PCOS when they are unable to conceive. If a woman suffers from extra hair growth on her body and face or her voice becomes thick, she should approach a doctor immediately.
Women with PCOS suffer from Infertility.
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PCOS is a hormonal condition in which women produce a surplus of male sexual hormones like testosterone. This causes irregular ovulation or no ovulation at all. In simple words, women with PCOS don't release a mature egg from their ovaries every month hence, they face infertility. You can opt for treatment using fertility drugs to aid in ovulation.
Women with PCOS have heavy vaginal bleeding
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Heavy vaginal bleeding occurs in women with PCOS because as they don't ovulate and produce the hormone Progesterone like normal women do, and have a normal period, the lining of their uteri can become thick and the cells become crowded, leading to heavy bleeding and sometimes uterine cancer. PCOS affected women must get themselves tested for uterine cancer as they are at high risk of developing it.