What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), also known as polycystic ovary disease (PCOD), is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterised by various symptoms, including irregular menstrual cycles, excess androgens, and the formation of small cysts on the ovaries. PCOS affects approximately 5–10% of women worldwide and is a significant cause of infertility.

Causes and Symptoms of PCOS:

The exact cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Women with PCOS often have an imbalance of sex hormones, including elevated levels of androgens such as testosterone. This hormonal imbalance can lead to various symptoms, which may include:

    1. Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Women with PCOS often experience irregular or absent menstrual periods due to irregular ovulation.
    2.  Hyperandrogenism: Elevated androgen levels may cause hirsutism (excess hair growth on the face and body), acne, and male pattern baldness.
    3. Polycystic Ovaries: The ovaries may become enlarged and develop multiple small cysts, visible on an ultrasound scan.
    4.  Insulin Resistance: Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, a condition in which the body does not respond effectively to insulin, leading to high blood sugar levels.
    5. Weight Gain: PCOS is associated with weight gain or obesity in some cases, and weight management can be challenging for women with this condition.

Diagnosis of PCOS:

Diagnosing PCOS involves a comprehensive evaluation of a woman’s medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. The diagnostic criteria include the presence of at least two of the following three features:

  1.  Irregular menstrual cycles or anovulation (lack of ovulation).
  2. Clinical or biochemical signs of hyperandrogenism, such as excess hair growth or elevated androgen levels in blood tests.
  3. Polycystic ovaries visible on ultrasound examination.

Other potential causes of similar symptoms, such as thyroid disorders or adrenal gland abnormalities, must be ruled out during the diagnostic process.

Treatment Procedures for PCOS:

  1. Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet is crucial for managing PCOS. Weight loss, if needed, can improve hormonal balance and reduce insulin resistance, which, in turn, can alleviate symptoms.
  2. Hormonal Birth Control: Oral contraceptive pills are commonly prescribed to regulate menstrual cycles and control androgen levels, reducing symptoms such as hirsutism and acne.
  3.  Ovulation Induction: For women seeking to conceive, medications like clomiphene or letrozole may be used to induce ovulation and increase the chances of pregnancy.
  4. Insulin-Sensitizing Medications: In cases of insulin resistance, medications such as Metformin may be prescribed to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate menstrual cycles.
  5. Anti-Androgen Medications: To manage symptoms like hirsutism and acne, anti-androgen medications can be prescribed to block the effects of androgens.
  6. Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART): In cases of infertility due to PCOS, assisted reproductive techniques like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended.

Why choose Delfinium Fertility and IVF Centre?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women worldwide, causing irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and potential fertility issues. Dr Nalini Gupta is a highly experienced reproductive endocrinologist who specialises in diagnosing and treating PCOD/PCOS. At Delfinium Fertility and IVF Centre, we are dedicated to giving each patient individualised treatment programmes, cutting-edge technology, and compassionate care.

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