PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
It is a common complex hormonal disorder, affecting up to ten percent of women (reproductive age) worldwide.
While there is no cure for PCOS, the symptoms are treatable with varying degrees of success.
The three treatable features of polycystic ovarian disease include the clinical symptoms, hormonal abnormalities and metabolic problems.
But, if PCOS is left untreated it can lead to various life-threatening conditions including hypertension, kidney problems, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and heart disease. Endometrial cancer can occur due to anovulatory menstrual cycles.
Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome may complain of abnormal bleeding, extreme weight gain, depression, tiredness, hair loss, thyroid problems, headaches, sleeping disorders, high cholesterol, poor memory, panic attacks, constant thirst, dizzy spells, insulin resistance, extreme cravings, cystic ovaries, cystic acne, anovulatory menstrual cycles (cycles without ovulation), irregular periods, mood swings, high levels of testosterone, infertility, extreme hair growth on face and body.
On the other hand, to treat any of these conditions, it is essential to diagnose reliably and diagnosing is one of the major problems of PCOS (currently) because it is a heterogeneous condition where many different manifestations occur, which aren’t constantly present in all women suffering with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
For instance, about 80% of women with PCOS have polycystic ovaries present in their body. Moreover, remember that having polycystic ovaries does not imply that you are suffering with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
Around fifty percent of those with polycystic ovaries have PCOS and the rest have polycystic ovaries either because of normal variations, or the conditions that lead to multiple ovarian cysts.
Owing to this variability there remains no single diagnostic test with which the diagnosis of PCOS can be done. Instead, a combination of factors is used to diagnose the polycystic ovarian disease.
The factors include, the evidence of hyperandrogenism (excessive male hormones in the blood), anovulation, and other conditions that can cause the above problems.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a complicated condition, and due to this, it should always be diagnosed and treated by a qualified healthcare professional. Treatment of PCOS depends partially on the woman’s stage of life.
Infertility problem should be treated, if you want to become pregnant. Infertility treatments include weight loss diets, ovulation medications (clomiphene, letrozole, Follistim, Gonal-F), ovarian drilling surgery and IVF.
Ovarian drilling surgery is used to reduce hyperandrogenism. Usually, it is performed at the time of laparoscopy.
Ovarian drilling is a laser fiber or electrosurgical needle, which is used to puncture the ovary 10-12 times to reduce the androgenic levels. The studies have shown that about 80% will benefit from this treatment.
A water pill (diuretic) called spironolactone help reverse the problem of acne or excess hair growth.
To overcome anovulation, a medication called clomiphene (clomid) can be used to induce ovulation (cause egg production). Also, weight loss can normalize menstrual cycles and often increases the possibility of having pregnancy (ovulation).
A birth control pill with low androgenic side effects can cause regular periods and prevent the risk of uterus cancer.
Metformin is a medication to treat type II diabetes. It also affects the action of insulin and helps reduce the symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
Some helpful links that clear your doubts regarding PCOS: