Nowadays, most of the women confront the childbearing problem. Sometimes it has been blamed for late marriage; sometimes the hectic schedule of daily life. Such a problem is sometimes objectified as the part of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which affects one in 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is a common and treatable cause of infertility.
The hormonal imbalance creates problems in the ovaries which make the egg released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be. PCOS can cause missed or irregular menstrual periods which can lead to infertility (inability to get pregnant). In fact, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. It can help in developing of cysts in the ovaries.
Most of the women find out they confront PCOS in their 20s and 30s when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. But PCOS can happen at any age after & during puberty. Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk for PCOS, but your risk for PCOS may be higher if you are obese or if you have a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS. So, we can say that to such an extent it is related to family history.
The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Most experts think that several factors, including genetics, play a role:
- High levels of Androgens. Androgens are sometimes called “male hormones,” although all women make small amounts of androgens. Androgens control the development of male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Women with PCOS have more androgens than normal and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.
- High levels of Insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
One more thing one should keep in mind that having PCOS does not mean you can’t get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries. If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant.
PCOS affects many systems in the body. Many women with PCOS find that their menstrual cycles become more regular as they get closer to menopause. However, their PCOS hormonal imbalance does not change with age, so they may continue to have symptoms of PCOS. Also, the risks of PCOS-related health problems, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack, increase with age. These risks may be higher in women with PCOS than those without.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often.
- Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair.
- Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
- Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts
- Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area.
There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS. You and your doctor will work on a treatment plan based on your symptoms, your plans for children, and your risk for long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.