Symptoms of PCOS
Early signs and symptoms of PCOS usually develop around the time of adolescence, which may mimic normal pubertal changes in adolescent girls. In some women PCOS develops later, such as in cases of substantial weight gain due to sedentary lifestyle and junk eating habits. Diagnosis of PCOS requires much expertise in the particular domain. You may experience some of these symptoms and signs:
Irregular periods : Infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual periods are the commonest sign of PCOS. For example, you may have less than nine periods a year, more than 36 days between periods and abnormally heavy or less periods. However patient may have frequent periods as well.
Excess androgen level : Elevated levels of male hormone/ androgen may result in physical signs, such as
- excess facial and body hair
- severe acne
- Severe Hair fall resulting in male-pattern baldness.
Infertility due to Polycystic ovaries : Your ovaries might be big (as seen on sonography) and contain many follicles that surround the eggs, if you left the disorder untreated. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function properly and release a mature egg; hence inability to conceive.
Weight gain :
Weight may gain exponentially as a result of insulin resistance which is the root cause of PCOS.The signs and symptoms are usually more severe if you’re overweight. There is a vicious cycle of weight gain and deterioration of PCOS signs and symptoms. However, there is a variant of lean PCOS in which a patient has a lean body figure with any of the above symptoms.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you are worried about your menstrual periods, if you’re troubled with infertility or if you are embarrassed with signs of excess androgen such as worsening hirsutism, acne and hair loss.
PCOS means polycystic ovarian syndrome. PCOS is the pathology of ovaries in which multiple eggs are formed which leads to formation of multiple cysts, get arranged peripherally in ovaries. It is a heterogeneous and heritable disorder which causes reproductive, metabolic and hormonal disturbance in the females.
PCOS is the leading cause of infertility. It is solely responsible for 40% cause of Anovulation hence female infertility. Insulin resistance plays crucial role in the pathogenesis of PCOS which is responsible for androgen excess and leads to anovulation hence infertility.
Remember PCOS is not a disease, only a disorder. On the bright side, statistically 20% of women, who have polycystic ovaries, may not have problems in ovulating or conceiving. Also, with help of ovulation medication nearly 60-70% women will achieve ovulation and 40% of them will conceive over the first 3 attempts.
PCOS presents with an array of symptoms which may vary from person to person. There is a cure for PCOS, provided early diagnosis is made together with implementation of proper integrated approach personalised according to symptoms of patient.
PCOS is diagnosed if two features are positive out of following three:
1.Clinical features/ biochemical hyper-androgenemia (male hormone excess) like weight gain, acne, excess facial hair, irregular menses, scanty/heavy menses, baldness, hair fall, inability to conceive etc.
- Oligo- Ovulation / Anovulation
- Ultrasound appearance of ovaries with multiple cysts arranged peripherally in necklace pattern.
PCOS can present with long term health risks like Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, Hyper-lipidemia, Atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, stroke and even Endometrial Cancer in long run, if syndrome is left untreated.
Yes, treatment of PCOS focus on managing your concerns. First line management is Lifestyle Modification so as to enhance your insulin sensitivity. Medication is focused on increasing your insulin sensitivity and correcting the hormonal disturbance. Then Cosmetic, reproductive or metabolic disturbances are taken care of as per patient requirement.
PCOS is a disorder of ovaries (not a disease) which is in-built and heritable so its control and reversal is possible. Complete cure is possible for any disease which happens in lifetime. Its reversal for lifetime requires more of the patient dedication and understanding of the cause of her own disease. Our PCOS specialist tries to involve patient actively in formulating her diet and exercise modification and explain the action of medicines. We have a very peculiar way of treating PCOS. We help our patients to understand the pathogenesis of their disease and once they understand it, they are far more capable to control such a nuisance of PCOS which is known to remain otherwise, for lifetime.