The poly cystic ovarian syndrome is a common gynecological problem among women that causes various symptoms including insulin resistance and lowered fertility. We look at some of the most frequently asked questions about this disorder:
What are the first signs of poly cystic ovarian syndrome?
The polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS as it is also called, may first come to light due to menstrual irregularities such as absence of periods or few or irregular periods. In some cases women may have more frequent than normal periods.
Or it could be that abnormal blood sugar test alert a woman to the problem since insulin resistance is one of the symptoms of this condition. Or it could be weight gain or high cholesterol levels that first alert a woman to the fact that there is a problem.
There could be problems with the sex drive, anxiety or depression, and fatigue that could also be signs of the problem.
A woman who is trying to get pregnant may find she is unable to do so because this disorder prevents ovulation.
Certain masculine traits such as excess body hair, acne, skin tags, male pattern baldness and other impacts of excessive male hormones may be noted in poly cystic ovarian syndrome.
What causes cystic ovarian syndrome?
The causes of PCOS are not fully understood however we do know that there is a strong genetic component that plays a role since the condition runs in families.
The main cause of the problem is hormonal imbalance where the natural process of ovulation in a woman is interrupted and there is an excess of androgens or male hormones.
Clinicians and researchers seem to agree that insulin resistance is closely connected to poly cystic ovarian syndrome. Insulin is what changes carbs and sugars into energy but if the body is unable to use insulin then there are problems.
In polycystic ovarian syndrome it is insulin resistance which is thought to cause the androgen overproduction.
How is poly cystic ovarian syndrome diagnosed?
Typically the physician will ask the woman about any and all of her symptoms such as her period patterns, weight gain, and other symptoms. A physical exam, including a pelvic exam, and a body profile including blood tests (to measure blood sugar levels), blood pressure test will usually follow to determine various parameters. A transvaginal sonogram may also be used to look at the ovaries closely. Typically the size of ovaries is one and a half to three times the size of regular ovaries.
Is PCOS curable?
The fact is that poly cystic ovarian syndrome has no cure and it is only possible to effectively manage this condition. The most important way of managing it is by using lifestyle modifications to lose weight and to change patterns of food intake, since weight loss has been seen to be the most effective way to treat.
Diabetes management is also part of the treatment protocol. Women looking to get pregnant may use fertility treatments whereas women not looking to get pregnant may find that birth control pills make a difference to their symptoms.