Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a health that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility hormones, insulin production, blood vessels, appearance and heart. It is a condition whereby the follicles of the ovaries form large cysts (polycystic). Although the eggs mature within the follicles, the follicles don’t break to release them.
Women with PCOS have these characteristics:
- high level of male hormones, also called androgens
- an irregular or no menstrual cycle.
- may or may not have many small cysts in their ovaries. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs.
PCOS is caused by an endocrine disorder of low levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and higher than normal levels of androgen produced by the ovary. Insulin resistance is a feature of PCOS; meaning the cells of the body does not respond to insulin and it remains high in the blood leading to a lack of ovulation and infertility.
PCOS afflicted women are likely to develop diabetes and its associated conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension and heart disease.
Polycyctic ovaries are larger than normal with a thick outer covering. There is a high incidence of this in women in the twenties and thirties.
PCOS Rick Factors
Women who are diagnosed with PCOS usually have a primary relative with symptoms associated with PCOS. Losing weight may help to reduce the elevated insulin levels in the blood which in turn may stimulate ovulation.
There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. Your doctor will take a medical history, perform a physical exam, possibly include an ultrasound, check your hormone levels, and measure glucose, or sugar levels in the blood. If you are producing too many male hormones, the doctor will make sure it is from PCOS.
At the physical exam, the doctor will want to evaluate the areas of increased hair growth, so try to allow natural hair growth for a few days before the visit.
During pelvic exam, the ovaries may be enlarged or swollen by the increased number of small cysts. This can be more easily detected by vaginal ultrasound, or screening, to examine the ovaries for cysts and the endometrium. The endometrium is the lining of the uterus. The uterine lining may become thicker if there has not been a regular period.
- infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding
- infertility or inability to get pregnant because of not ovulating
- increased growth of hair on the face. chest, stomach, back, thumbs or toes
- acne, oily skin or dandruff
- pelvic pain
- weight gain or obesity, usually carrying extra weight around the waist
- type 2 diabetes
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
- patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin on the neck, arms, breasts or thighs
- skin tags, or tiny excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
- sleep apnea – excessive snoring and breathing stops at times while asleep
Treatment for PCOS
Because there are no cure for PCOS, it needs to be managed to prevent problems. Treatments are based on the symptoms each patient is having and whether she wants to conceive or needs contraception.
The main fertility problem for women with PCOS is the lack of ovulation. We recommend a remedy that corrects hormone imbalances as well as regulate the process of ovulation, promoting the production of healthy eggs.
Birth Control Pills
For women who do not want to get pregnant, birth control pills can regulate menstrual cycles, reduce male hormone levels and help to clear acne. However, birth control pills do not cure PCOS. The menstrual cycle will become abnormal again if the pill is stopped.
A Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is also another way women can help manage PCOS, since obesity is common with PCOS. Get a healthy diet and some physical activities to help the body lower the glucose levels. We recommend Proactol, a 100% organic, clinically proven weight loss solution. Even a loss of 10% of the body weight can help make a woman’s cycle more regular.
This is not recommended as the first course of treatment. However, a surgery called ovarian drilling is available to induce ovulation. It is a treatment that has the effect of triggering ovulation and is suitable for women who wish to be fertile.
During this surgery, the doctor makes a very small incision above or below the navel, and inserts a small instrument (laparoscopy) that acts like a telescope into the abdomen. The doctor then punctures the ovary with a small needle carrying an electric current to destroy a small portion of the ovary, which may risk developing scar tissue on the ovary.
This surgery can lower male hormone levels and help with ovulation. But these effects may only last a few months, and doesn’t help with increased hair growth and loss of scalp hair.