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PCOS - Common Challenges Faced By Women!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Richa Gupta 88% (30 ratings)
MBBS, DNB(ob/gy)
Gynaecologist, Delhi  •  21 years experience
PCOS - Common Challenges Faced By Women!

PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a common ailment among teenagers and women and is caused when a woman has a hormonal imbalance. In addition to the production of estrogen which is the main female hormone, women also produce some amounts of testosterone which is the primary male hormone. When the level of testosterone is higher than normal, it leads to several gynecological problems including PCOS.

There is hyperandrogenic environment which leads to menstrual irregularities and certain manifestation such as hirsutism, acne. Weight gain in young adolescents leads to metabolic X syndrome and Insulin resistance, again causing menstrual irregularities and infertility.

What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

  • Irregular menstrual periods are characterized by some women having periods more than once in a month while some have their periods after every few months and others have no periods at all. The flow can range between very light and very heavy.
  • Some teens complain that there is an unwanted growth of hair on the chest, face, hands, back, arms and legs and even around the nipples. Also, young women with PCOS have severe acne problems along with dark patches on the face, neck, armpits and in between the breasts. All these conditions also have an adverse impact on the emotional health of an adolescent.
  • Women with PCOS experience some level of insulin resistance which leads to accumulation of fats around the abdomen. It causes an excessive craving for carbohydrates along with hypoglycemia. Many of these symptoms are experienced during the adolescence period and are generally overlooked. This makes it difficult to diagnose PCOS and treat it subsequently.
  • Teens and women with PCOS also suffer from severe weight gain, and they are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure at a later age.
  • The symptoms start developing at the onset of puberty as there is a general increase in the insulin levels as an integral part of human development. Teens who are faced with these challenges later suffer from chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, endometrial cancer, heart diseases and hypertension. Therefore, early recognition, as well as treatment, are extremely crucial to prevent these conditions along with infertility.

How is PCOS treated?
If you suffer from these problems, you need to consult with an expert gynecologist who will evaluate your overall health condition along with the menstrual cycle. The doctor will also ask whether you have a family history of PCOS and in this preliminary examination, he will check your blood pressure, weight, height, and overall appearance such as the growth of hair on the body and patches of darkened skin.

The treatment for PCOS in teens may include lifestyle changes such as eating healthy foods and exercising, counseling with a registered dietitian for losing weight, medicines containing female hormones and medications to help utilize insulin better. Treatments also include laser therapy or electrolysis for removal of unwanted hair in the body.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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