A common situation in female effecting the function of ovaries is called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome also known as PCOS or PCOD. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries that contain small collections of fluid — called follicles — located in each ovary as seen during an ultrasound exam.
Some main features of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome are;
- Irregular menstruation marked by ovaries not releasing eggs regularly.
- Excessive androgen production in the body can be noticed through some physical changes such as excess of facial or body hair.
- Polycystic Ovaries – ovaries become enlarged and contains fluid filled sacs called follicles surrounding eggs.
Most of the females suffering from PCOS have large number of follicles measuring upto 9mm, however these follicles are under developed sacs in which oocytes or eggs develop. If you are a PCOS female, these sacs will be unable to release an egg. PCOS is thought to be one of the big underlying conditions most of the females are facing in Nepal. The data hard to trace, but it’s thought to be affecting every 5 in 10 women in Nepal. More than 50% of this number will not notice any symptoms.
The symptoms of PCOS are more prominent during late teen years or early to mid twenties. One can have difficulty in conceiving as a result of irregular ovulation, excessive hair growth, weight gain, or difficulty in gaining weight, oily skin, acne, thinning of hair or hair loss etc. PCOS is also associated with an increased risk of developing health problems in later life, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
Causes of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
It’s still a subject of study but PCOS often is seen running in the families. It’s connected to abnormal hormones levels in the body with producing high levels of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone that controls sugar levels in the body. Many women with PCOS are resistant to the action of insulin in their body and produce higher levels of insulin to overcome this.
This contributes to the increased production and activity of hormones such as testosterone. Being overweight or obese also increases the amount of insulin your body produces.
Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Medical Science has only suggested management of symptoms of PCOS so far. If you notice any of the symptoms, visit your gynaecologist and get a ultrasound of your lower abdomen done. If you are overweight, carefully plan your diet. In case of excessive hair,irregular periods and fertility problems visit doctor. If fertility medications are ineffective, a simple surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) may be recommended. This involves using heat or a laser to destroy the tissue in the ovaries that’s producing androgens, such as testosterone.
With treatment, most women with PCOS are able to get pregnant.