Answering the Big Questions Around PCOS
Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the leading cause of infertility in women . According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, PCOS affects 5-10% of women and girls who have reached the age of childbearing.
Many people who have PCOS are unaware of it, unaware how to approach it or struggle to live with the symptoms. With consistent professional PCOS care, you can easily balance your PCOS symptoms and treatment. But before that, you need to know what PCOS is and how you can identify it.
Let’s answer some of the critical questions around PCOS so that you have a better idea how to approach medical care.
1. What is PCOS?
PCOS is a combination of symptoms that directly impact hormonal balance. In a person suffering from PCOS, the hormones that control the body’s ovulation capabilities are severely impacted. Progesterone, estrogen and especially androgen are the most affected. When you are trying to manage your PCOS symptoms and consistent treatment is difficult, having a Carebyte subscription can help you stay on track. You get a dedicated team of doctors to help you with PCOS treatment, diet plans and nutrition.
2. How does PCOS affect ovulation?
A woman’s ovaries house the eggs in her body. All the eggs are enclosed in capsules known as follicles. Generally one follicle grows and produces one mature egg every month. The egg is released from the follicle and then gets dissolved. When someone has PCOS, the egg is not released by the follicle; instead the follicle remains enlarged. Over time, the follicle turns into a cyst filled with liquid. Over time, several small cysts fill up the ovaries.
3. What is the root cause of PCOS?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of PCOS, such as obesity, a history of diabetes in the family, or if someone already has PCOS in the family. However, even doctors don’t know the exact cause of PCOS. By eliminating the risk factors and ensuring holistic care of your health, you can reduce your chances of getting PCOS.
4. How do I know if I have PCOS?
Usually, women only find out that they have PCOS when they face complications while trying to get pregnant. In such cases, they might not have paid attention to any of the other symptoms that can help you recognise if you have PCOS. Look out for the following, as people with PCOS have at least 2-3 of these symptoms:
- High androgen levels, which shows as excess facial or body hair
- Extremely heavy, irregular or no periods for months on end
- Cysts on either both or one of the ovaries
Other symptoms that could cause or have caused PCOS are
- Pelvic pain
- Obesity or weight gain
- Irregular bleeding or spotting
- Acne and oily skin
- Dark, thick, velvety skin patches, known as acanthosis nigricans
If your mother or sister have PCOS, you might be at a higher risk of getting it too.
5. How do doctors diagnose PCOS? (PCOS symptoms and treatment)
The first step that doctors take is eliminating any other conditions with similar symptoms, including
- Thyroid gland issues
- Adrenal hyperplasia or excess adrenal gland hormone production
- Hyperprolactinemia or excess prolactin production
Once all other possibilities are ruled out, the next step is confirming for PCOS.
- The doctor asks for your family’s medical history. A significant number of cases of PCOS are hereditary.
- They then conduct a comprehensive physical evaluation. Blood samples are collected to check androgen, sugar and cholesterol levels in them.
- They also conduct an ultrasound or pelvic exam to check uterine lining and ovaries. People who don’t get regular periods have a thicker than normal uterus lining. This increases the risk of endometrial cancer.
6. Can I get pregnant despite having PCOS?
People with PCOS are capable of pregnancies. However, pregnant women with PCOS are at a high risk of complications and miscarriages. If you are planning on conceiving, make sure you consult your doctor. They can help you manage PCOS and eliminate all avoidable risks. PCOS treatment includes a meal plan for weight loss, supervised medication and regular follow-ups.
Regular follow-ups and consultations for PCOS can amount to a significant amount of money. With a single Carebyte subscription, you get access to dedicated 24x7 PCOS care from medical professionals, a personal nutritionist and fitness coach and specialists at NO charge. Manage your PCOS symptoms and treatment consistently with free follow-ups whenever and wherever you need.