April 9, 2020 8:24 am Published by

PCOS Explained

PCOS is essentially a hormonal imbalance, when the ovaries produce more androgens than normal. Androgens are predominantly male hormones, although females also produce them through their ovaries. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of ova (eggs) during ovulation.

Causes and Symptoms

pcos affects one in 15 women. The cause is unknown. Most experts think that it is due to both genetic (hereditary) and environmental factors.
Insulin is the hormone that controls the change of sugar and starches into energy for the body to use or store. pcas is characterized by an increase in Insulin and Insulin resistance leading to Diabetes (Type II) and an increase in the production of androgens. Hence, scientific research shows that Insulin may also be linked to pcas. Symptoms of pcas include:

  • Infertility
  • Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
  • Hirsutism (increased hair growth on the face,
  • chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes)
  • Cysts on the ovaries
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • Obesitv or weight gain – usually around the waist
  • Male-pattern baldness or thinning of the hair
  • Anxiety and depression in some cases
  • Sleep apnea (when breathing stops for short periods of time while asleep)

Other Associated Illnesses/Health Issues Women with pcas have a greater chance of developing other serious health conditions – some of which could be life-threatening.

  • More than 50% develop diabetes or pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) before the age of 40
  • The risk of heart attack is 4-7 times higher
  • There is a greater risk of an increase in blood pressure, endometrial cancer, and having high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol


There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. A combination of tests are required and may involve:

  • Taking the medical history ../ A physical examination
  • A pelvic examination
  • Blood tests
  • A sonogram (vaginal ultrasound)

Similarly, management of PCOS is most likely to be any of/or a combination of the following:

  • Lifestyle modification (dietary and exercise considerations)
  • Birth control pills to stabilize the menstrual cycle
  • Diabetes medication – metformin (glucophage)
  • Fertility medication
  • Ovarian drilling – a surgery to help increase the chance of ovulation
  • Antiandrogens or Androgens – lowering agents (Spironolactone or Aldactone) to reduce unwanted body hair, prevent hair loss and reduce acne

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