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Last Updated: Jun 14, 2022
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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Medical care Can Polycystic Ovary Syndrome go away on its own? Is PCOS serious? Surgery Treatment Post treatment Guidelines What are the PCOS post-treatment guidelines? Prevention Side effects Cost How long does it take to recover from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? Results What to eat in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? Should I go to urgent care for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? Physical Exercises Alternatives Which is the best medicine for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a condition caused to women which affect the hormonal level in the body. In this syndrome, ovary gets filled with the male hormones and produces it more than normal in her body. It causes skipping in the menstrual periods, which makes hard for them to get pregnant. PCOS also causes the growth of facial hair and baldness.

If it is a long term disease then it also contributes to heart disease and diabetes. PCOS affects women ageing between 15-44. Mainly, It is known to affect the ovaries and reproductive organs which produce hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones help in the menstrual cycle.

What does PCOS pain feel like?

Most women have an unpleasant dull or throbbing ache in their lower abdomen, directly above the pelvic bone during their periods. They may face problems like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, bloating, and exhaustion along with period discomfort.

Period discomfort might begin a few days before your period, but it usually begins when your period begins. It normally lasts two to four days, but it can last up to a week in certain situations. There are two types of period pain: spasmodic and congestive.

You may feel cramps and stabbing feelings in spasmodic pain. Congestive period pain causes constant aching. Period pain can fluctuate from month to month, and you may experience little to no difficulty in the first month and then experience severe pain in the next months.

Summary: PCOS is a hormonal disorder that does not result in pelvic pain. You might feel abdominal pain during your periods.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

The common symptoms of PCOS is as follows:

  • Irregular menstruation or no periods at all
  • Difficulty in pregnancy due to irregular ovulation
  • Hirsutism
  • That is excessive growth of facial and body hair
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Having a problem during ovulation as they fail to ovulate frequently, causing difficulty in getting pregnant.
  • PCOS also leads to health problems like depression, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart diseases and stroke. It can also cause cancer in the womb lining due to irregular periods.

What causes polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown, but it is said that it happens due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

  • High level of androgens: Androgens also are known as male hormones but an excessive amount of it can cause the development of male traits. Though women also produce androgens but in a small amount. When the level of androgen rises, women start having problems in their ovaries as it prevents the ovaries during ovulation. There is excessive facial growth and irregular periods.
  • Insulin resistance: The body becomes insulin resistance. Therefore, body needs to produce insulin in large amounts. Thus, there is a high level of insulin in the body which causes ovaries to form a high level of testosterone which interferes in the process of normal ovulation. High level of insulin also causes gain in the weight of the person making PCOS symptoms worse.

How PCOS is diagnosed?

There is no specific test that can diagnose PCOS. Therefore, doctors have to talk about the medical history of the person regarding their menstrual cycle and weight changes. There will be a physical exam which will check excessive hair growth, acne, insulin resistance. After all this the doctor may recommend these tests:

  • Pelvic Exam: This exam is done to inspect the reproductive organs or any other abnormality.
  • Blood Tests: It is done to measure the level of hormones in the body.
  • Ultrasound: With the help of ultrasound the shape and appearance of the ovaries are checked.

When to seek medical care for PCOS?

When you are having an irregular menstrual cycle or no menstruation, abnormal hair growth, having difficulty in getting pregnant, or any other symptom then you should go and seek medical care.

Can Polycystic Ovary Syndrome go away on its own?

PCOS can not go away on its own. Women with PCOS frequently have high amounts of androgens, as well as insulin resistance, even after menopause. This implies that the health concerns linked to PCOS are permanent. The long-term repercussions of these ailments are diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

Summary: PCOS has no treatment, although the symptoms can be managed.

Is PCOS serious?

PCOS is a health-related problem which needs to be treated on time and if not then it can become a serious problem. It can even cause health diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart diseases. The women who suffer from PCOS have growth of small cyst on the ovary. The cysts are not harmful but they can develop severe health problems.

What are the surgery options for PCOS?

There are two types of PCOS surgery:

  • Laparoscopic Ovarian Drilling: In this surgery, ovary drilling is done using electrocautery which triggers ovulation.
  • Ovarian wedge restriction: Surgically removes the part of the ovary which regulates periods and normal ovulation.

What is the best treatment for PCOS?

Treatment of PCOS depends on the symptoms and personal choices of pregnancy. Medical treatment of PCOS aims at the treatment of metabolic derangements, anovulation, hirsutism, and menstrual irregularity.

A number of lab tests may be prescribed which include pelvic exam, ultrasound, blood sugar and androgen level tests. A sonogram may also be done by the patients to evaluate the ovaries. If polycystic ovarian syndrome is diagnosed, then the doctor might recommend additional tests which include periodic checks of blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels, screening for depression and anxiety and obstructive sleep apnoea.

Hormonal birth control (most often birth control pills) is the standard treatment. Doctors recommend regular exercises, a healthy diet, weight control, to improve health conditions. To regulate the menstrual cycle, birth control pills are prescribed. Surgery can be an option to improve fertility if the condition of the patient does not improve the other treatments. Ovarian drilling is a procedure that makes tiny holes in the ovary with a laser or thin heated needle to restore normal ovulation. A combination of surgery and metformin or letrozole can be used as a second-line treatment in infertile women. Besides these, regular exercise, proper diet and sufficient sleep are prescribed by the doctor accordingly.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of PCOD, it is recommended for you to consult an Ayurveda practitioner about pcod ayurvedic treatment. This ensures that proper diagnosis is undertaken so that you can start treating the condition as early as possible.

What is the Follow-up for PCOS treatment?

  • Checking the menstrual pattern
  • Details of reproductive history are checked
  • Checking the presence or absence of acne
  • The detailed check of BMI (Body Mass Index) is done

What are the PCOS post-treatment guidelines?

Consult your doctor for post-care treatment guidelines. Along with this, try to:

  • Maintain body weight: This can help in lowering insulin and testosterone level to restore ovulation.
  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake: Diets high in carbohydrates and low in fat may raise insulin levels.
  • Be active: You should do moderate physical exercises regularly, this could help to reduce blood sugar levels.
Summary: Maintaining good hygiene and taking a healthy diet can aid in the faster recovery of PCOS.

How to prevent PCOS?

Maintaining body weight which helps in reducing the level of insulin and androgen hormones in the body which can resolve the problem of ovulation. Limiting carbohydrates in the diet which might increase the level of insulin. Keeping yourself active and doing exercise reduces the risk of polycystic ovary syndrome.

What are the side effects of PCOS treatment?

Drugs which are usually used to treat PCOS have a very low risk of severe adverse effects. But, there is an increased risk of multiple pregnancies (rarely more than twins) with these treatments. Metformin, a common drug that is used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome can also lower insulin and blood sugar levels in women. Possible side effects of metformin include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhoea and loss of appetite. Another medication called gonadotrophins also provide a higher risk that they may overstimulate the ovaries and lead to multiple pregnancies. Apart from this, patients seldom face any adverse effect on the treatment of PCOS.

What happens if Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is left untreated?

If PCOS is left untreated it can lead to a variety of more serious consequences. Type 2 diabetes, infertility, sleep apnea (sleep breathing disturbances), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, depression, and potentially uterine cancer are all linked concerns.

In all circumstances, it is very important to get PCOS identified and managed by a healthcare specialist as soon as possible.

Summary: PCOS can become a major problem like cancer, acne scars, and heart disease if left untreated.

What is the cost of PCOS treatment in India?

The overall treatment of Polycystic ovarian syndrome does not require great expenditure. However, constant check-ups and tests may sum the amount to around Rs 6000 approximately.

How long does it take to recover from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS may take 3 to 6 months to recover from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and to normalize the menstrual flow. You can go for a healthy and balanced PCOS diet for faster recovery.

Summary: PCOS may be cured in a month or two if you go for a proper course of treatment.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome does not include complete cure. The symptoms can be managed and brought under control post medicinal therapy. The medicines help to get periods on time and also check the insulin level. Also, exercises, which is the most vital therapy, help to cut down the extra weight one puts on due to polycystic ovaries.

What to eat in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

People's diet has a substantial impact on PCOS. However, there is no specific diet for PCOS at the moment.

The following are the food items that helps to relieve PCOS symptoms:

  • Anti-inflammatory foods like berries, fatty salmon, leafy greens, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • The low glycemic index (GI): Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy vegetables, and other low-carbohydrate foods are all part of a low-GI diet.
  • The DASH diet: It helps to relieve the symptoms of PCOS. It includes food items like whole grains, fruits, fish, vegetables, poultry, and low-fat dairy products.

A healthy PCOS diet can include the following:

  • dark leafy greens
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • sardines
  • crimson grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries
  • kale, spinach, and other dark leafy greens
  • pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios
  • legumes (dry beans, lentils, and others)
  • cauliflower and broccoli
  • olive oil, avocados, and coconuts
  • dark chocolate
  • Unrefined food
  • turmeric and cinnamon
Summary: Whole grains, fresh fruit, and plant-based proteins should be prioritized in a PCOS diet, whereas sugar, processed foods, and trans fat should be avoided. You may need to take supplements depending on your overall health needs.

What not to eat in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

People with PCOS should avoid these food items:

  • margarine, shortening, and lard
  • sodas and energy drinks
  • pastries and white bread.
  • margarine, shortening, and lard
  • steaks, hamburgers, and pork
  • hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon meats
  • fried foods, such as fast food
Summary: Insulin resistance and weight loss, can be made more difficult by eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates, such as starchy and sugary meals.

Should I go to urgent care for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

If you get consistent periods, the uterine lining can thicken or overgrow, leading to endometrial cancer later on. Regular periods aid in the ""thinning out"" of the lining.

It is important to get those male hormone-related symptoms under control because they can have a negative impact on your quality of life, even if they're only aesthetic.

PCOS can make it difficult to conceive, therefore doctors prescribe fertility drugs to help.

Summary: If you're in good health and don't have any chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, then seeing a primary care physician, or PCP, once a year is sufficient. However, because of the developing issues from PCOS, it is important to go to your PCP for a physical once a year.

Physical exercises for people suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS):

  • HIIT workouts: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help to relieve the symptoms of PCOS. Interval training is a type of exercise that allows you to exercise at varying intensities.
  • Steady-state cardiovascular workouts: Cycling, dancing, walking, and taking aerobics classes can help to relieve the symptoms of PCOS.
  • Strength training: It involves building muscle by employing resistance bands, and weights.
  • Yoga and Pilates:It can help to reduce stress levels, which can exacerbate your PCOS symptoms.
Summary: Moderate physical activity can help to relieve the symptoms of PCOS. It also helps to improve insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of heart disease.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

This common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age can be managed alternatively by ayurvedic or homoeopathic treatment. Treatment of PCOS in Ayurveda includes panchakarma and internal medication. Panchakarma procedures like udvartana, vamana, virechana and basti help to reduce body weight, remove toxins, decrease insulin resistance and regulate normal hormone secretion. Internal medications are used to destroy the cyst, stimulate ovulation, induce menstruation, regulate flow during menstruation etc. Homoeopathic Treatment for PCOS includes medicines are mostly without any side effects and can help reduce the symptoms when consumed for a long time. Alongside, home remedies can help the person ease out. Use of hot water compression can lower pain. Vitamin D, apple acid vinegar, coconut oil, castor oil etc can be used to reduce the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Which is the best medicine for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Medicines that could help to control the menstrual cycle are:

  • Birth Control Pills: It helps to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, acne, excessive hair growth, and abnormal bleeding.
  • Progestin therapy: It helps to regulate the periods and prevents endometrial cancer. It can be taken for 10-14 days after every one or two months.

You may consider the following to help to ovulate:

  • Clomiphene: You can take this anti-estrogen pill in the first half of the menstrual cycle.
  • Letrozole: It is a drug that is used to treat cancer (Femara).
  • Metformin: It helps to maintain insulin resistance. It also helps you to lose weight and reduces the growth of type 2 diabetes.

You can go for the following medicines to prevent excessive hair growth:

  • Birth control pills: It helps to reduce the level of testosterone which thereby helps to prevent excessive growth of hair.
  • Spironolactone (Aldactone): It blocks the effect of androgen. It might cause birth problems therefore it is important to use effective contraception while taking it.
  • Electrolysis: In electrolysis, the hair follicle is pierced with the help of a thin needle. It may require multiple treatments for good results.
Summary: Metformin (off-label use), spironolactone, eflornithine (topical cream to treat hirsutism), and oral contraceptives are some of the drugs used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Conclusion: PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterized by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is linked to issues like irregular menstrual periods, excessive face and body hair development, acne, obesity, decreased fertility, and a higher risk of diabetes. A medical history, physical, blood tests, and an ultrasound can all be used to diagnose PCOS. It can be treated if we follow a healthy lifestyle, take a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight.

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi, i'm 28 years old, i've been diagnosed with pcos, I used to take regestrone 3 times a day for three days to induce my periods however my cycle got regular so doctor recommended to gradually stop regestrone. But this time I got my periods after 2 months and the bleeding won't stop. It's been 9 days and the bleeding is quite heavy, can you suggest how to stop the bleeding i'm losing allot of blood.

M.B.B.S, Post Graduate Diploma In Maternal & Child Health
Gynaecologist,
It is important to rule out pregnancy first. The best way would be to get tvs done which will give a comprehensive picture of the problem. As per the report further treatment will be initiated.
1 person found this helpful

Sir I am 29 years old and have pcod with submecosal uterine fibroid of 3.5x3.9x2. 5 cm measurement. I am currently taking cystohit m and duoluton l. But after 6 months of treatment size is not reducing. What should I do.

MBBS, Diploma in Advanced Obstetrics and Gynaecological Ultrasound
Gynaecologist, Hyderabad
If it is not causing any problem wait andsee ,if it is causing problems like excessive bleeding andpain abdomen u can remove fibroid only by muon myomectomy

Hi I am ashwini ghosalkar 26 years old 6 days back got periods after 3 months and now am feeling like vomiting since last night and checked pregnancy test and negative. Pls guide me the same. I have pcod issues and minor thyroid and taking nari urja from 1 month. After taking nari urja I got my period and I have acne on my face.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Pcos is a disease where there is a hormonal imbalance. Depending on your complaints, examination, reports, and stage of life treatment differs, and it also needs more time to get yourself treated with patience. Meet gynecologist in whom you have t...

I just had an unprotected sex and I am suffering from pcod so I don't know when my periods will come because till now I don't see any signs of it. So should I take an I pill or start using duoluton from today itself.

MS OBG
Gynaecologist, Guwahati
If more than 72 hours have passed, then ipill is of no use. Duoluton also won't help if pregnancy has taken place. Wait for one week to 10 days from the due date. If periods still don't come, do a urine pregnancy test. If negative, take the duoluton.

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