What Is PCOS?
What Is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition that affects the functionality of the ovaries. Polycystic Ovaries contain a large number of benign follicles that can grow up to 8mm in size. The follicles are under-Developed sacs in which eggs develop. In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation often does not occur.
What Are The Symptoms Of PCOS?
Difficulty getting pregnant as a result of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate
Excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back, or buttocks
Thinning or Loss Of Hair (Male Pattern Balding)
Skin Conditions Including Acne and Oily Skin
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is also associated with an increased risk of developing health problems in later life, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.
What Causes PCOS?
The cause of PCOS is still unknown, but it often runs in families which means it could be hereditary. PCOS is related to an abnormal hormone level within the body, including high levels of insulin. Insulin controls sugar levels within the body which is why many women who suffer from PCOS become resistant to the action of insulin and produce high levels of insulin to overcome this. This contributes to the increased production and activity of hormones like testosterone.
Being overweight or obese also increases the amount of insulin your body produces. Therefore is it very important to try and maintain a healthy weight.
How Do You Treat PCOS?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS but the symptoms can be managed! If you suffer from PCOS and you are overweight, the symptoms can increase therefore maintaining a healthy diet and weight are very important.
There are also medicines available to help treat symptoms such as laser hair removal and cream for excess hair growth and birth control pills to help regulate periods. As PCOS can sometimes make getting pregnant difficult, and fertility medicines may sometimes be ineffective, there are alternative methods to help you conceive such as a simple surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD). This involves using heat or a laser to destroy the tissue in the ovaries that's producing androgens, such as testosterone. With treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.
What Are The First Signs Of PCOS?
Most women with PCOS can go undetected for a long time as sometimes the symptoms are not obvious. The first symptom associated with PCOS is usually missed periods. If you have irregular periods or no periods at all, you could have PCOS and should be checked by a medical professional.
Where Can I Get PCOS Help?
We understand that PCOS can be overwhelming and everybody needs someone to talk to, or a blog article to read to help digest information properly which is why we have outlined some of the best PCOS charities below:
Verity - The PCOS Charity: https://www.verity-pcos.org.uk
PCOsaa: PCOS Awareness Association: https://www.pcosaa.org