PCOS - Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
You might have PCOS and not even know it. Have you lost your period or have your periods become extremely heavy? Are you constantly feeling lethargic and hopeless? Is your hair falling out? Are you unexpectedly gaining a bunch of weight? Have you experienced hair growth in unusual spots? Are you constantly battling cystic acne? These are some of the most common symptoms of the polycystic ovary syndrome.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that affects females. It is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. It is called polycystic ovary syndrome due to the numerous cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries. However, it is important to note that there are women who, although diagnosed with PCOS, do not have cysts on their ovaries.
Why Do Women Get PCOS?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, evidence shows that there are factors that contribute to PCOS development :
- Elevated androgen levels
- Insulin resistance
Elevated Androgen Levels
Androgens are sex hormones made in fat cells, ovaries, and adrenal glands. Females with elevated androgen levels might be experiencing: :
- Male pattern balding
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body does not respond to sugar the way that it should. As a result, your body produces more insulin which causes the ovaries to produce more testosterone, preventing ovulation. Females with insulin resistance might be experiencing: :
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Constant cravings
- Dark patches on the skin
How to Know If You Have PCOS
In order to be diagnosed with PCOS, you have to meet at least 2 out of the 3 following criteria :
- Irregular/infrequent periods or no periods
- Elevated levels of male hormones
- Polycystic (many cysts) ovaries
Although PCOS cannot be cured, there are things you can do to manage your symptoms :
- Incorporating low-impact workouts
- Implementing a balanced diet
- Managing stress