Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that affects approximately 10% of women, and a large number of them are in the reproductive age. Today, in India, one in five (20%) women suffer from PCOS. If it is not monitored in time, the condition can have serious health impacts.
What is PCOS? Its Symptoms and Causes
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone imbalance in which women have irregular periods and multiple ovarian cysts. These cysts can cause symptoms such as:
- Painful periods
- Infertility: This can be caused by many factors, including high levels of androgens in the body. Androgens are a type of hormone that is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. When these hormones are present in high amounts, they can cause a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, and back
- Weight gain
- Anxiety or depression
PCOS is a condition that affects about 5% of women and occurs equally among men and women. Why does PCOS happen? It is unknown. But according to some experts several factors, including genetics, might play a role.
How is AMH related to PCOS?
Women with PCOS have higher levels of AMH on average when compared to women who don’t have the condition. This is because PCOS causes a condition called hyperandrogenism, which is associated with higher levels of AMH. AMH is an important marker for women with PCOS, and it’s used to monitor their condition and treatment.
Various tests for evaluation of PCOS
If you have PCOS, it can be a challenge to get a formal diagnosis. It can take many visits to your doctor and multiple blood tests before you get the diagnosis. If you do not know what is wrong with you, your doctor may order a blood test that checks for other possible conditions. The blood test may show that you have an imbalance of some hormones such as:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Luteinizing hormone
- Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)
- Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
- Anti-Müllerian hormone
Complications and Prevention associated with PCOS
PCOS is one of the most common reproductive problems. It is a disorder that occurs in women and makes it difficult for them to ovulate and get pregnant. Some complications include:
- Increase in miscarriage
- Gestational diabetes
- Preeclampsia- which is characterized by sudden elevated blood pressure and body swelling after the 20th week of pregnancy.
- Preterm birth
PCOS is also associated with the risk of developing following diseases:
- High cholesterol
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Endometrial cancer (cancer caused by thickening of the lining of the uterus)
- Anxiety and depression
- Breast cancer
How can PCOS be prevented?
- Eating Healthy Food (Fruits, Vegetables, Limited Sugar intake, Avoid saturated fats, etc.)
- Exercising Regularly
- Reduce Stress Level
- Quit Smoking
Treatment and Medication for PCOS
The most common treatments for PCOS are
- Pharmacologic treatments used for metabolic derangements, such as anovulation, hirsutism, and menstrual irregularities
- Oral contraceptives OR Birth Control Pills
The PCOS medications can also cause some side effects such as weight gain, breast tenderness, and depression. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, it is important to consult a doctor before starting any treatment.