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Polycystic ovary syndrome is a very common condition that affects the function of a woman’s ovaries. It affects at least one in 10 women in the UK. While there is no cure, there are treatments to help manage symptoms.
Since many women are often undiagnosed with PCOS, we acting Help raise awareness and better understand the condition.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovaries have a considerable number of follicles. A follicle is an undeveloped sac in which an egg develops. With polycystic ovary syndrome, the sac cannot release an egg, thus preventing ovulation from occurring.
What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome?
More than half of women with PCOS have no symptoms. However, if you do have symptoms, they usually develop between late teens and early twenties.
Here are the symptoms to watch out for-
- irregular period
- pelvic pain
- weight gain
- difficulty getting pregnant
- Excessive hair growth on the face, back and bottom
- thinning hair on the head
- oily skin
What causes PCOS?
It’s unclear what causes PCOS, but it does run in families.
PCOS is associated with abnormal hormone levels, including high insulin levels. Women with PCOS produce higher levels of insulin because their bodies are resistant to the effects of normal levels of insulin. This in turn affects hormones and increases testosterone production.
How can I help my PCOS symptoms?
Having PCOS usually means your insulin levels are much higher, so losing weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet will help lower your blood sugar levels. This will also help your hormones reach normal levels.
Losing just 10% of your body weight can help correct irregular menstrual cycles and improve your chances of conceiving.
manage hair growth
PCOS can cause excessive hair growth due to hormonal imbalances. Treatments such as store-based hair removal creams and electrolysis by a trained health professional can be used to remove facial hair.
You can also seek help from your GP, who can prescribe skin treatments to help slow the growth of unwanted hair.
Can I get pregnant with PCOS?
There are many options you can try to help improve your chances of conceiving.
- drug – Your doctor can prescribe medications, such as clomiphene, to help you ovulate.
- In vitro fertilization – In vitro fertilization can be used.
- lose weight – Losing weight, eating a healthier diet and increasing physical activity will help regulate periods and improve fertility.
- Operation – When women have PCOS, the outside of the ovaries thickens. It is said to be one of the factors that prevents ovulation. Surgery to make a laser hole on the surface of the ovary can usually correct ovulation problems for up to 8 months. This process completes when all other methods fail.
Be sure to see your GP if you have any concerns.
Do you have PCOS? Or maybe you know someone who does.