Polycystic ovary syndrome (PEX) is a complication that can affect a woman’s menstruation, pregnancy, hormones, and appearance. It may also affect health in the long run. This article gives you a brief overview on the long-term effects of this syndrome on health.
Polycystic ovaries are slightly larger than normal ovaries and have twice as many follicles (small cysts). Polycystic ovaries are very common and 20% of women Suffering.
Having polycystic ovaries does not mean you have polycystic ovary syndrome. About 6-7% of women with polycystic ovaries have PCOS.
Symptoms of polycystic ovaries:
Irregular or complete cessation of menstruation
Tough to get pregnant (reduced fertility)
Having more than normal hair on the face and body (hirsutism)
Weight gain, rapid weight gain, hard weight loss
Oily skin, acne
Depression and mood swings rapidly
The symptoms are not necessarily the same in women. Some women have fewer symptoms, while others are more severely affected by a wider range of symptoms.
PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. If you do not want to become pregnant, ask your doctor about contraception.
What causes PCOS?
The cause of PCOS is not yet known. PCOS is sometimes seen in the family. If one of your relatives (mother, aunts, sister) has PCOS, you are more likely to get PCOS.
Symptoms of polycystic ovaries are abnormal with respect to hormonal levels. Hormones are chemical messengers that control the body’s actions. Testosterone is a hormone produced by the ovaries.
Women with PCOS have higher testosterone levels than normal women.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates the level of glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. If you have PCOS, your body may not respond to the hormone insulin (known as insulin resistance), so glucose levels are higher. Your body produces more insulin to prevent glucose levels from rising. High insulin levels may lead to weight gain, irregular periods, infertility, and increased testosterone levels.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
Women with PCOS often have different symptoms, and sometimes these symptoms are not permanent. This may make it difficult to detect PCOS.
When you have any of the following two symptoms, you will be diagnosed:
Irregular periods or long time between periods, or no periods
Excessive facial and body hair growth is more common than before, or a blood test that shows an increase in testosterone levels above normal.
Ultrasound showing polycystic ovaries.
When a diagnosis is made, you may be referred to a gynecologist or endocrinologist.
What is the importance of PCOS in long-term health?
If you have PCOS, you are at higher risk for the following diseases that affect your long-term health:
Insulin Resistance and Diabetes: If your blood sugar does not stay normal, it may lead to diabetes. Occasionally, for every 10 women, 1 or 2 people (10-20%) can have diabetes. Lack of treatment will damage the body’s organs.
If you have PCOS, you may have a higher risk of developing diabetes if you have the following Symptoms:
You are over 40 years old
You have relatives with diabetes
Have a history of Pregnancy diabetes
You are overweight (BMI above 30)
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you will be given a diet and possibly medication or injectable insulin.
High blood pressure: Women with PCOS are more likely to have high blood pressure, which can lead to heart problems and need to be treated.
Heart disease continues to live: Heart disease is associated with diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have high cholesterol, you may be advised to take medication to reduce your risk of heart problems. If you decide to become pregnant, you should seek specific advice on the use of statins.
Cancer: By not menstruating every month (less than 3 periods a year), the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) can become thicker, which can lead to endometrial cancer in a small number of women.
There are several ways to protect the lining of the uterus using progesterone. Your doctor will talk to you about different options. These options may include taking a five-day progesterone course every three or four months. Depending on whether you are currently planning to become pregnant, medication may be prescribed.
PCOS does not increase the risk of breast, cervix or ovarian cancer.
Depression and mood swings: PCOS symptoms may affect how you see yourself and think about how others see you. It may also lower your Self Confidence.
Snoring and drowsiness throughout the day: PCOS may lead to fatigue and drowsiness throughout the day. It is also associated with snoring.
What can be done to reduce the health risks in the long run?
Have a healthy lifestyle.
The main ways to reduce the overall risk of long-term health problems are:
Eat a balanced, healthy diet. The diet should include fruits and vegetables and whole foods (such as whole grain breads, cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta), low-fat meats, fish and chicken. You need to cut down on sugar, salt, caffeine and alcohol.
Eat regularly, especially breakfast
Exercise regularly (30 minutes at least three times a week).
Your Internal doctor will give you complete information about eating a healthy diet and exercising.
Maintaining a normal weight should be your goal (BMI between 19 and 25). BMI is the measure of weight-to-height ratio.
If you are overweight, losing weight and maintaining your new weight can help. If you are obese (BMI above 30), talk to your local doctor and pharmacist about weight loss techniques, such as weight loss medications.
The benefits of weight loss include:
Reduce the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes
Reduce the risk of heart problems
Reduce the risk of uterine cancer
More regular periods
Increased chances of getting pregnant
Decreased acne and reduced Excess hair growth
Improve mood and confidence
Women over the age of 40 with PCOS should be advised to have a blood sugar test every year to check for symptoms of diabetes. If you are obese (BMI above 30), or have a family history of diabetes, you may be recommended for a diabetes test before the age of 40.
If you have not had a period for a long time (more than 4 months), you should see your doctor. You may be advised to do more tests, such as ultrasound.
Talk to your doctor about how often you should monitor your blood pressure and whether you should have a blood test for cholesterol.
Is there a cure?
There is no cure for PCOS. The goal of medical therapies is to manage and reduce the symptoms and consequences of PCOS. No single drug has shown superiority over lifestyle changes (weight loss and exercise).
Many women with PCOS successfully control their health-related symptoms and risks without any medical intervention. They do this by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.