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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Things worth knowing 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal disorder in women. Women with the disorder have higher androgen levels, impacting their menstrual cycle and chances of getting pregnant. If you have any of the common symptoms of the disorder, you need to meet a Decatur OBGYN to know the possible treatment options. Below is an overview of symptoms and treatments. 

What exactly is PCOS?

PCOS affects the ovaries. A woman’s ovaries are responsible for producing progesterone and estrogen. PCOS impacts ovulation because the body produces more male hormones or androgen. The syndrome is characterized by tiny cysts in the ovaries, which can be seen in a pelvic ultrasound. These cysts prevent regular ovulation, making it hard for the patient to get pregnant. 

What causes PCOS?

It is not entirely clear what causes PCOS, but genes and insulin resistance have been linked to the condition. These factors can cause excess production of androgen, which can cause PCOS. Close to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. For the uninitiated, insulin resistance is a condition where the body cannot use insulin effectively. 

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms of PCOS often overlap with other menstrual disorders, and a considerable number of women do not know that they have the syndrome. Some of the tell-a-tale signs of PCOS include – 

  • Irregular or fewer periods 
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Hair growth on face and body because of high androgen levels
  • Acne
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Hair thinning

What are the common complications?

PCOS doesn’t have generic complications. However, women with PCOS often have a hard time getting pregnant. Other complications include premature birth, gestational diabetes, liver inflammation, metabolic syndrome, and Type 2 diabetes. Patients may also suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. There is also a higher risk of endometrial cancer. 

PCOS treatment

There is no cure for the syndrome, but PCOS treatments usually manage symptoms and concerns. Doctors usually suggest a mix of lifestyle changes and medications. Just losing a few pounds can help PCOS patients drastically. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are key to managing PCOS. Doctors may recommend birth control pills, progestin therapy, anti-estrogen medications, metformin, and other hormone medications. A healthy diet for PCOS patients should be about balancing the macronutrients while cutting down on carbs. 

Common myths about PCOS

There are numerous myths about PCOS, making it hard for some women to seek proper treatment. Myths include:

  1. You cannot get pregnant with PCOS (False)
  2. You did something to get PCOS. (False)
  3. You have PCOS if your cycle is irregular (Not always)
  4. You don’t have to worry about PCOS if you don’t want to get pregnant (False)
  5. If you are obese, you have PCOS (False)

Check with your OB-GYN to know more about managing PCOS without relying on medications alone. Your doctor can ensure that you have a sustainable treatment plan that focuses on lifestyle changes and living a healthy life.  Ensure that you exercise for at least one hour every day. 

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