Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition of the female reproductive organ- the ovaries. These ovaries develop cysts in them due to hormonal imbalance. Please contact Dr. Meghana Bhagwat in Andheri for a consultation.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:
Ovaries are a part of the reproductive system in women. The main function of the ovaries is to produce eggs, also known as oocytes. These oocytes are transferred to the fallopian tube, fertilizing with sperm. The fertilized egg moves to the uterus, where the lining of the uterus has become thick in response to the hormones generated during the reproductive cycle. The fertilized egg implants into this thickened uterine lining, and you are said to be pregnant.
So, you see the importance of ovaries in our reproductive system.
When there is a hormonal imbalance in your reproductive system, the ovaries tend to develop follicles (fluid cysts) around the egg. Due to this, the egg is not released into the fallopian tube. The size of the ovaries becomes bulky.
This condition of Polycystic ovaries has a domino effect on women’s health, and ignoring the signs could lead to multiple diseases.
In this article, Dr. Meghana Bhagwat, one of the best gynecologists in Andheri, explains the signs you should look out for so that you know well in time that a visit to the gynecologist is inevitable.
Dr. Bhagwat has experience of 2 decades as an obstetrician and gynecologist. She also specializes in assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF.
She explains in brief that if you notice too much bleeding, too little bleeding, missing your periods, weight gain, receding hairline like men, and facial hair growth, it is time to visit your gynecologist.
What are the causes of PCOS?
Well, the causes of PCOS are not really known. It’s somewhat like the riddle: what came first, the egg or the chicken?
The general notion is that this disease is due to genes. Partly true, if women of the same family have the same disorder, then it is a genetically induced disorder. But there is more to it.
PCOS is a lifestyle-oriented condition and a vicious cycle at that. The condition is caused by and causes lethargy, weight gain, stress, depression, constant hunger.
Wondering how? Read on.
Studies show that 1 in 4 Indian women suffer from PCOS, which is not all; it shows that it occurs more in urban women than in rural areas.
So, it can be concluded that as we improve our socio-economic status and become more educated, we are becoming unhealthier!!!
PCOS/PCOD is definitely a lifestyle disorder.
Every woman has a responsibility towards herself of eating a well-balanced diet, exercising moderately, sleeping well, and staying happy.
Lack of exercise and weight gain, and obesity lead to insulin resistance. This insulin resistance leads to deranged hormones.
Insulin: Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that promotes the absorption of sugar by the cells. This is your primary source of energy. When the cells become resistant to the role of insulin, the sugar in the blood rises, which in turn produces more insulin, this excess insulin raises the level of androgens.
Inflammation: Inflammation occurs when our immune system is activated by the presence of a foreign substance in our body. This inflammation affects the muscles and joints and may also affect other organs internally. You may develop colitis, myocarditis, or even PCOS.
Your mental and physical condition has everything to do with the hormonal imbalance.
Both men and women have hormones named estrogen and androgen.
Normally, a man has more androgen and less estrogen, and a woman has more estrogen and less androgen.
The tilt in this hormonal balance in women causes PCOS. When androgen levels in women rise, and the estrogen goes down, she is likely to get PCOS.
The result of tilt in hormonal balance is that
the brain does not signal the ovaries to produce eggs.
Causes fluid follicles around the eggs where they grow and mature. The size enlarges, in turn forming a cyst.
Has other symptoms such as facial hair growth and acne.
Who is at risk of PCOS?
Women are prone to get PCOS if it’s in their genes or if they are obese.
Diagnosis of PCOS:
During the consultation, Dr. Meghna Bhagwat asks questions about your medical history, your family’s history, and your menstrual cycle.
She will conduct a physical examination and write up a few tests to ascertain the diagnosis.
You may have to undergo blood tests and ultrasounds.
Once the results are confirmed, it is all about finding the right plan of treatment that works for you.
Treatment of PCOS:
The main focus of the treatment plan is to treat your symptoms and concerns that rise due to PCOS like hirsutism, acne, infertility, or obesity.
Making lifestyle changes and losing weight is the primary aim. You will have to stick to a well balanced diet, combined with moderate exercise each day, religiously and relentlessly. But this is not easy. It’s a combination of your efforts at changing your lifestyle combined with the medicines you take that are prescribed by the doctor.
Your doctor will prescribe medications which may include:
Combination Birth Control Pills: These are pills that contain estrogen and progestin and reduce androgens. It helps in regulating your estrogen levels which in turn helps in regulating your menstrual cycle. It reduces the risk of endometrial cancer, excess hair fall and acne.
Progestin Therapy: every 2 months you should take progestin for about 2 weeks. This protects against endometrial cancer and regulates your periods. Your androgen levels however remain unchanged, and pregnancy cannot be prevented.
Other medications that can help you ovulate are: Clomiphene, Letrozole and Metformin.
Metformin also improves insulin resistance and lowers the insulin levels in your blood, thereby regulating your blood sugar. It helps prevent diabetes and when taken in combination with clomiphene helps you get pregnant.
Gonadotropins are hormone medications available in injectable forms.
Girls, spend time taking care of yourself beyond the make up regimes. Eat well, get your beauty sleep and exercise.
Ignore your health is not a luxury you have. Be proactive, keep a tab on your menstrual cycle and notice the changes. If caught early, it may cause less damage.