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Females battling with PCOS can still achieve the dream of motherhood

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) was first reported in modern medical literature by Stein and Leventhal who, in 1935, described seven women suffering from amenorrhea, hirsutism, and enlarged ovaries with multiple cysts. It is now recognized as a common, heterogeneous, heritable disorder affecting women throughout their lifetime. PCOS is characterized by hyper-androgenism, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovaries. However, there is considerable interindividual variation. Although not required for diagnosis, the presence of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia is common and places those affected at increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Thus, PCOS adversely affects endocrine, metabolic and cardiovascular health. Monthly periods are a regular occurrence for most women and are generally regarded as a sign of health. Having irregular periods, on the otherhand, is a cause of concern. Irregular periods can have a tremendous impact on essential body functions, from PCOS risk to stress and reproductive health. In fact, according to physicians, your periods might affect your heart health  and should be looked out right away.While irregular monthly flow or missed

periods can be caused by a variety of factors, PCOS, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome,

is one of the most common reasons of irregular menstruation. PCOS, which affects one in every eight women of reproductive age, is quickly becoming an    epidemic in its own right, with more and more instances being reported in recent years. Harmone imbalances, which are largely driven by life style difficulties, can have negative consequences of overallhealth, including weight gain, hormonal disruption, irregular period flow, reproductive disorders and the risk of metabolic abnormalities. However, despite being such a widespread disease, many women are uninformed of or misinformedabout their symptoms, and have a poor understanding of what they are suffering from, which isPCOS. As a result, not only does this have a negative impact on their reproductive health, but it also leads to delayed diagnosis and poor overall health. Ignoring risk factors, in particular, can be harmful to the heart.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary/ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a set of symptoms related to an imbalance of hormones that can affect women and girls of reproductive age. It is defined and diagnosed by a combination of signs and symptoms of androgen excess, ovarian dysfunction, and polycystic ovarian morphology on ultrasound. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in reproductive women. It is a common diagnosis in women presenting with infertility. PCOS, is a syndrome, not a disease.


Obesity (excess weight) due to an unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise.  Family history: women whose mother or sister has PCOS or Type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop PCOS, Insulin resistance (Type 2 diabetes)


Irregular and delayed periods or no periods because of lack of ovulation, Excess facial hair (hirsutism), acne, thinning scalp hair because of higher levels of male hormones, Multiple small cysts on the ovaries seen in an ultrasound

Risk factors

Genetics: If a close family member, such as a sister or mother, has the condition, you have an increased, but not guaranteed, chance of developing PCOS. Even without a family history of PCOS, there are other risk factors that can lead to its development. Diet: Diet has been found to be a contributing factor for PCOS. Fats and proteins from one’s diet can form advanced glycation end products (AGEs) when exposed to sugar in the bloodstream. These compounds are known to contribute to increased bodily stress and inflammation, which have been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Obesity: Obesity is widely recognized as aggravating PCOS, so managing a healthy weight, especially abdominal circumference, is recommended.

Environmental exposure risks: Environmental exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals may lead to female reproductive health issues, including PCOS

Health Implications

Psychological anxiety, depression, Dermatological hirsutism, acne, Metabolic obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, Sleep disordered sleep, sleep apnea , Reproductive infertility, preeclampsia, miscarriage


See a gynaecologist if you observe any symptoms, especially irregular or delayed periods, If you have PCOS, ask the doctor for getting tested for Type 2 diabetes. Lose weight if obesity has triggered PCOS; Eat a balanced, low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, Increase physical activity. Doctor may prescribe medication to help ovulation, reduce acne, hair growth

Coping with worries about having PCOS

If you’ve been told you have PCOS, you may feel frustrated or sad. Also, you may feel relief that there are reasons and possible treatments for the symptoms you have been having such a hard time dealing with— e.g., keeping a healthy weight, hirsutism, acne, or irregular periods. It can be difficult having a diagnosis without an exact cure. However, it’s important for women with PCOS to know they are not alone. Finding a support network and a health care provider who knows a lot about PCOS and is someone you feel comfortable talking with is very important. Even though results may take a long time, it is important to keep working on a healthy lifestyle and not let PCOS get you down. Many women with PCOS report that talking with a counsellor about their concerns can be helpful.

The author is a research scholar in Cancer Pharmacology

Email: [email protected]

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