Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a fairly common hormonal disorder, with symptoms varying widely. It is a gynaecological disorder that affects up to 10 out of hundred woman, starting around puberty
The causes of PCOS are not certain and it is often regarded as treatable but not curable. If diagnosed and treated early, adverse long term effects can be managed, though with less certainty.
Disruptions of menstrual cycle including heavy irregular or absent periods, lumpy or enlarged ovaries, infertility, excessive hair growth, oily skin and pimples, high cholesterol and fats, mood disorders to name a few. These symptoms may give rise to long-term issues of body image, type II diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Performing test to measure the hormonal levels in the blood, the diagnosis depends on hormonal fluctuations, then simply presence of polycystic appearing ovaries. The syndrome can be difficult to diagnose in some woman as well. Sometimes a vaginal ultrasound is performed.
The treatment is more of a management of the symptoms to reduce the long-term complications, than the cure. The treatment often requires lifestyle changes as well. Medications include – contraceptive pills, antidiabetic drugs, and intrauterine hormones, to name a few. Sometimes infertility treatment is recommended for those desiring to fall pregnant, including IVF.
The drugs come with their own unwanted side effects such as weight gain, depression, tiredness, reduced sex drive, conception of twins or triplets, in addition to common side effects like diarrhoea or nausea.
Regular monitoring of the conditions and side effects are essential for anyone experiencing PCOS.