If you want to know ‘what is polycystic ovarian syndrome’, you must be aware of the fact that the condition is also called the Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. This is a situation in which the woman produces a lot of male hormones and extremely few female ones. This leads to a rare or irregular ovulation. At times, anovulation which is the total lack of ovulation may be caused as well.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome afflicts around 5% to 10% women who have attained the age of childbearing.
Ovulation under normal circumstances occurs if the follicle with the egg grows, and releases a mature egg.
What happens in PCOS is that the follicle is prevented from growing which leads to an accumulation of eggs in your ovaries, leading to the creation of small, estrogen releasing, benign ovarian cysts.
The release of estrogen, along with the existence of male hormones prevents hormones such as the FSH follicle stimulating hormone or LH or luteinizing hormone from being produced on their right levels. In the absence of ovulation, the levels of the male hormone are high, leading to a repeat of the cycle.
Assessing what is polycystic ovarian syndrome
While the perfect causes of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome have not been determined yet, researchers have examined the relationship between Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and the feminine capacity of producing insulin. Women who know ‘what is polycystic ovarian syndrome’ are aware of the fact that they tend to produce excessive amounts of insulin.
This makes the ovaries compensate by producing the male hormones or androgens in excess. While a few women affected by PCOS have a sister or mother with the syndrome, conclusive evidences to a genetic link are absent.
There are various symptoms of a Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. About half the women suffering from the condition are affected with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high levels of insulin and insulin conflicts. They may suffer from patches of thick and black or dark brown skin on the upper regions of their body, acne as well as skin tags.
To know about ‘what is polycystic ovarian syndrome’, you should also understand that the condition includes excessive growth of hair on the face, lower abdomen and chest. The person can also suffer from thinning of hair and alopecia on their scalp.
Other than the above symptoms, women having PCOS experience irregular or no menstrual cycles. It begins around 3 to 4 years after menstruation starts. As a result of irregular menstruation and ovulation, women suffering from PCOS may have problems of conception. Diagnosing of PCOS is done with a physical examination and blood tests for measuring the levels of hormones. Ultrasound tests can be performed as well for locating ovarian cysts.
Treatment for the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome begins with the need to lose weight, which can help tackle the hormonal imbalances. Ovulation may be successfully caused by fertility drugs such as gonadotropins and clomiphene. Ovarian drilling is also taken up. Women may even take birth control pills. To treat PCOS successfully, you should first understand ‘what is polycystic ovarian syndrome’.