What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is marked by the hormonal imbalance of a woman. It causes irregular or abnormal periods and interferes with your fertility. PCOS makes the ovaries swell up with follicles containing small collections of fluid.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
At first, symptoms of PCOS are not very noticeable. The most common ones are:
+ Troubles with weight (either weight gain or weight loss)
+ Excess hair grow
+ Thinning hair on the scalp
+ Irregular periods
How is PCOS diagnosed?
Your doctor will need to know about your menstrual cycles, your medical history and any symptoms you may have. Then, your doctor will do a physical exam to look for visible signs of PCOS such as excess body hair and high blood pressure. After that, he or she will order some lab tests to check your blood for the levels of sugar, insulin, and other hormones. Look at the hormone test results, your doctor will be able to rule out thyroid or other medical conditions that can cause the same symptoms as PCOS does. You may need a pelvic ultrasound to check for cysts on the ovaries. This test is not compulsory, but it helps to cross other problems off the list.
Treatment for PCOS
A balanced lifestyle with moderate exercises and a healthy diet is the key to treating PCOS. It can help relieve the symptoms as well as preventing complications.
Besides, your doctor can prescribe medications help you with your menstrual cycles, fertility, and hair growth.
+ To regulate your periods, your doctor may give you birth control pills which contain both estrogen and progestin to decrease the androgen production and impede the effect of estrogen. This will reduce your risk of endometrial cancer and help you avoid abnormal bleeding. However, during the course of this treatment, you will not be able to conceive.
+ To induce ovulation, you likely need to take clomiphene – an oral anti-estrogen medication. If this does not work for you, your doctor will give you metformin to help you ovulate. Gonadotropins and luteinizing hormones are sometimes administered by injection.
+ For hair growth, birth control pills are often used in combination with spironolactone. However, spironolactone might cause birth defect, you need to use contraception religiously when you are on this drug. Eflornithine is another promising option since it slows down the process of facial hair growth in women.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.