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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder in women, affecting an estimated five to ten million women of reproductive age. For women trying to conceive a child, PCOS is a serious, common cause of infertility – nearly half of all female factor infertility cases can be traced to PCOS. New medical insight into the disease has led to treatment options, including insulin-reducing ovulation medication (clomiphene, Metformin), dietary changes (low glycemic diet) and surgery (ovarian drilling), which have proven successful and allow many women to overcome PCOS and conceive a child naturally, while reducing the risk of miscarriage. Women who undergo treatment for PCOS but are still unable to conceive naturally often turn to assisted reproductive technologies, including IVF, and experience high pregnancy success rates.

 
PCOS
 
Overview

Polycystic ovary syndrome causes irregular menstrual cycles, excessive body or facial hair and polycystic ovaries as its main symptoms. Polycystic means “many cysts,” and PCOS often causes clusters of small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The cysts are fluid-filled and contain immature eggs. Women with PCOS produce slightly higher amounts of male hormones known as androgens, which contribute to some of the symptoms of the condition.

The cause of PCOS is not known. Some women with PCOS are less sensitive to insulin than other women, a condition known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can causes the ovaries to produce too many male hormones. The resulting hormonal imbalance can cause the symptoms of PCOS. The condition appears to run in families, and sisters of those with it are twice as likely to have it. Currently, PCOS has no cure, but a variety of PCOS treatments can help alleviate the symptoms of this disease, including infertility.

 
Causes of PCOS
 
PCOS Symptoms

PCOS is a syndrome disease defined by a collection of signs and symptoms. The symptoms of PCOS that one patient experiences can be very different from the symptoms of another patient. If you have two or more of the following symptoms, you need to have a thorough checkup to determine if you need PCOS treatment:

  • Irregular or missing menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Excess or unwanted body or facial hair growth
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Weight problems, often including weight gain around the waist
  • Skin problems, including skin tags, darkening skin and acne

 

Complications of PCOS

The common PCOS symptoms are difficult enough for most women, but some will experience further complications, including:

  • Diabetes, elevated insulin levels or insulin resistance
  • Heart and blood vessel problems
  • Uterine cancer
  • Sleep apnea

Each of these problems can be life threatening, which is why treatment for PCOS is so important.

 

PCOS Treatments

Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment starts with a proper diagnosis. Treatments are then chosen based on a woman’s symptoms, age and future pregnancy plans. Treatment for PCOS may include:

  • Birth control pills to regulate menstruation
  • Insulin-sensitizing medications
  • Ovulation induction to treat infertility
  • Androgen-blocking medications
  • Topical anti-hair-growth medications
  • Other excess hair treatments
  • Treatments for hair loss
  • Acne treatments
  • Removal of other skin problems

 

Lifestyle and Prevention

One of the best treatments for PCOS is a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet low in refined carbohydrates is important, as this can help regulate blood sugar levels. Exercise can also help the body regulate insulin and keep excess weight off. Losing weight is challenging with PCOS, but doing so can help reduce the male hormone levels in the body, and some women will begin to ovulate naturally. With a proper diagnosis, lifestyle changes and PCOS treatment, women can get relief from this condition and the overwhelming health problems it can cause.

 
Dr Jeyarani Kamaraj
 
At Aakash Fertility Centre & Hospital

At Aakash , our chief consultant Dr Jeyarani Kamaraj specialize in this common, yet often misunderstood cause of infertility. We work closely with each patient to understand her specific medical case and personal goals, including weight loss, pregnancy or improving general health, and develop a holistic approach to reach those goals. Oftentimes, the road to overcoming PCOS is not an easy one and it takes a strong commitment from both the patient and the physician. Our team at Aakash is committed to supporting our patients every step of the way.

Our Achievements

Best Doctor Award 2012

Oldest Women in India to Deliver Twins