PCOS: Everything You Need to Know

Introduction to PCOS Disease

Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS disease, is a women’s health condition that affects between four and 20 percent of the reproductive-aged women worldwide. While it isn’t currently perceived as an important health problem, it can cause those who have it a number of personal issues and difficulties, especially when trying to get pregnant. Here’s what you need to know about this condition, how it can be diagnosed and treated, and more.  

What is PCOS Disease?

PCOS is a disease which describes the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form along the outer edge of the ovaries. These are called cysts. The small fluid-filled cysts contain immature eggs. These are called follicles.

 

Many of these follicles are harmless, but they do prevent a woman from ovulating because they are underdeveloped and unable to release eggs. Many women go their whole lives without knowing they have this condition, which makes determining how common it actually is difficult. 

What are the Symptoms of PCOS Disease?

While many people who have PCOS don’t know that they have the condition, there are a number of indicators of its presence. These include:

  • irregular menstruation or in some cases, inability to menstruate altogether
  • difficulty getting pregnant because of failure to ovulate or irregular ovulation
  • acne or oily skin
  • hirsutism, or excessive growth of hair, usually on the chest, face, back, or buttocks
  • thinning of hair on the head
  • excessive weight gain

Many of these symptoms appear in other conditions as well, which makes determining whether someone has PCOS doubly difficult. If you suspect you may have PCOS and are interested in treating or managing it, you may want to contact our doctors right away.

Causes of PCOS

The exact cause of PCOS is currently undetermined, but genetics seems to play a big part in it. Women who have PCOS often have mothers who exhibit one or more of the symptoms mentioned earlier.

 

What is known about the condition is that it’s related to abnormal hormones in the body, particularly high insulin levels. Insulin is the hormone that allows the body to process and control sugar.

 

Women diagnosed with PCOS are resistant to these actions of insulin in their bodies, and have to produce more of it to overcome this resistance as a result.  This overproduction causes all the other hormonal imbalances that women with PCOS have to deal with, including their testosterone levels. This leads to some of the symptoms mentioned above, including the oily skin, acne, and hair growth.

Rendering of reproductive system with PCOS disease

What are the Complications of PCOS disease?

If you have PCOS and your hormone levels are imbalanced, you are at risk for several health complications, some of which may severely compromise your quality of life. These complications typically include:

  • Difficulty with conception. This has been mentioned already as a symptom of the condition. It’s still possible for people who have PCOS to get pregnant. They may need to take fertility medication or consult with a fertility specialist to do so, though.
  • Diabetes and insulin issues. Insulin resistance is very common in people who have PCOS, and this could prevent your body’s cells from processing sugar. This results in having too much sugar in your bloodstream, which is known more commonly as diabetes. This metabolic condition can cause other serious health issues, including compromised organ function and cardiovascular disease.
  • Metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster of conditions that increases the potential for cardiovascular disease. The symptoms include lowered “good” HDL cholesterol, hypertension or high blood pressure, abnormally high blood sugar, and high triglyceride levels.  

Polycystic ovary syndrome can also cause a number of other complications, including:

  • Inability to carry pregnancies to term
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Uterine bleeding, along with a higher risk of uterine cancer
  • Sleep complications, including sleep apnea
  • Inflammation of the liver, potentially resulting in cirrhosis

Prevent these complications from interfering  with your life plans by learning how EVA works today. 

How Is PCOS Disease Diagnosed?

Currently, there is no one test that can determine whether someone has PCOS. To get a diagnosis, your doctor will start by interviewing you about your medical history and symptoms. They will probably also ask if anyone in your family has been diagnosed with PCOS. Afterwards, they will do a physical examination, and in some cases, a pelvic exam as well.

 

They might have to draw some blood so determine your blood sugar, cholesterol, and hormone levels. They might also do an ultrasound to check your ovaries for tumors or cysts, and to measure your uterine lining.

How Is PCOS Disease Treated?

Treatment for PCOS depends on a number of factors. These may include your age, how severe your symptoms are, and your overall health. The type of treatment may also depend on whether you want to become pregnant in the future. 

 

Specific treatment might involve lifestyle changes or medication. For women who don’t plan on getting pregnant, they can take birth control pills or place a birth control patch to counter the hormonal imbalances. These medications can help regulate menstruation and ovulation cycles, reduce the excessive growth of body hair, and even clear up any breakouts. They also have the added benefit of reducing risk of developing endometrial cancer.

 

Women who are trying to conceive also have a few PCOS treatment options. Fertility medications can help ovaries release eggs and improve the likelihood of conception.

 

For more information on getting started with EVA Teleconsult, consult our FAQs.

How EVA Teleconsult Can Help with PCOS

EVA Teleconsult is always ready to help with any women’s health concern, including polycystic ovary syndrome. That’s because, with us, our patients will always get:

  • Timely appointments – No more time wasted while waiting outside a doctor’s office. With us, appointments begin right when they’re supposed to, even if they’re made the same day.
  • Guaranteed 30-minute consultation times – No more rushing or quickly dashed off prescriptions with no explanations. Our doctors take the time needed to give you information about your concerns, and are open to answering all your questions.
  • 5-star ratings for our doctors – Because our doctors know to explain things in a way patients can understand, we frequently get positive feedback from them.

Do you think you or someone you love might have PCOS? Get started on getting the treatment you or your loved one need, and Book a PCOS Consult today.

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