With a more and more technology taking over our household chores, we have reduced our physical activity to almost zero. And with this, PCOS has taken over and become a very common health condition, affecting approximately 18 percent of the women in India. Here, the more shocking fact is that many people are not yet aware of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, usually known as PCOS. Here you will be surprised to know that PCOS is not a new health condition as an Italian Physician Antonio Vallisneri first described its symptoms in 1721, but it’s still shockingly ignorant. When the PCOS stays undiagnosed for long, it becomes even more dangerous.
Let’s Understand what PCOS is?
PCOS is a very prevalent reproductive disorder in women and one of the leading causes of infertility. It basically is a health condition with hormones that affects women during their childbearing years (age- 15 to 44).
A woman’s ovaries normally produce some male hormones, ‘androgens’, but the ovaries of a woman having PCOS produce it too much. Missed periods, acne, male-patterned hair growth (hirsutism) and weight gain- all these happen because of this male hormone. Excess androgens also interfere with ovulation and can cause infertility. In each menstrual cycle of a woman, a follicle is supposed to break open and release a mature egg but in a woman with PCOS, that doesn’t happen and the follicle sticks around as a tiny cyst. PCOS in reproductive age affects the fertility of women and in older women, it could even lead to cancer of the uterus, cardiac disease, and type 2 diabetes. So to be aware of PCOS is very important.
What Causes it?
Doctors are still not sure about the exact cause of PCOS. According to them- Genes are one of the factors that contribute to this disorder. If any female in the family having this disorder then the chances are that other woman with same genes can get affected by PCOS. Insulin resistance is another cause of PCOS. Being overweight can also be a cause of PCOS but not having extra pounds doesn’t mean that you will not be affected by this disorder. If a woman is not overweight, she still can have PCOS as it runs in DNA.
Symptoms of PCOS
A disturbed menstrual cycle is one very common symptom of PCOS. Apart from this, thick facial hair, acne on face, chest and upper back, heavy bleeding on periods and weight gain are the other symptoms of PCOS. Hair loss like men and dark patches on the skin of the neck and under the breasts also identify the presence of PCOS.
Effects of PCOS
Before sharing the effects of PCOS, let me first tell you that PCOS is not a disease but a hormonal disorder and you can deal with it comfortably. PCOS affects ‘Good Cholesterol’ and increases the bad one so it becomes the reason for weight gain. PCOS is also responsible to increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Some studies also reveal that women with PCOS disorder have more chances of having depression and anxiety issues. Because of overweight (caused by PCOS), sleep apnea is also seen in women.
How to deal with PCOS?
Once diagnosed, you need to take steps towards a healthy lifestyle as there is no cure for it yet. There are many ways to decrease or even eliminate PCOS. Your doctor may offer some medicines that can treat your irregular periods, acne, excess hair, and elevated blood sugar level. Fertility treatments are also available to help women get pregnant. But doing all this gradually on your own is much more beneficial. The first thing you need to do is start working out on regular basis and try to reduce those extra kilos. Even if you think you don’t have excess weight, you should go to the gym or workout at home. Next important thing is to switch to a healthy food. Stop eating those burgers, pizzas and all that fancy stuff. Believe me; you don’t need that to feel good. Try to eat home-made food as much as possible. Don’t push yourself to extreme but as much as possible. You can always eat your favorite dish once a week.
Although PCOS has become very common still it is not so easy to identify it and once it is identified, you can get rid of it with few small changes in your lifestyle and food habits along with doctor’s instruction. And always remember to eat healthy, take proper sleep, do some physical work on daily basis and listen to your body- it tells you everything.
If you want me to write about the precautions you should take if you have PCOS, do comment below and I will be more than happy to help.