New Delhi (India), September 22: With India being the most populous country, it is also the PCOS capital of the world. It is a lifestyle disorder which can be managed by taking timely preventive measures. It mostly affects the urban girls. So it's empirical to educate and enlighten the young generation to prevent them from falling prey to this disease.
How many females are affected by PCOS?
1 in 10 females in India suffer from PCOS, with the majority of them being of the adolescent age group.
What are the causes of PCOS?
There is no pinpoint cause of PCOS. It is mainly caused by unhealthy dietary habits, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy lifestyle choices. With the modernization of society, outdoor playing habits and increased physical activity are no longer practiced. The increase in alcohol intake and smoking habits in females has also precipitated the prevalence of PCOS. It also runs genetically in families. A female with a mother or sister suffering from PCOS is more likely to develop it. Excess insulin (due to insulin resistance) causes improper ovulation due to hormonal imbalance that leads to male hormones (androgens) in excess.
How do you know if you have PCOS?
The most common presenting complaints are menstrual irregularities, cosmetic
complaints of acne, and increased facial hair growth (hirsutism). Females in their
20’s and 30’s come with the inability to conceive. Later, if they have conceived, report high-risk pregnancies with diabetes or high blood pressure. Ideally, diagnosis is made by doctor after a detailed history, clinical examination, lifestyle and dietary assessment, hormonal blood workup and ultrasound correlation.
Signs and Symptoms of PCOS
- Menstrual irregularities
- Excessive hair growth (hirsutism)
- Abnormal flow of menses
- Black discoloration of neck (Acanthosis Nigricans)
- Polycystic appearance of ovaries
Is it possible to lose weight with PCOS?
One of the biggest myth that revolves around PCOS is that “PCOS has caused weight gain”. However it’s the other way around. Weight gain leads to PCOS onset and its aftermaths. It is definitely difficult to lose weight with PCOS due to increase in insulin resistance but with proper guidance, appropriate diet modification, appropriate cardio-workout routine.
Adding high fiber in diet (like millets, bran), decreasing gluten intake (avoiding wheat and including millets as an alternative), decreasing intake of simple sugars (sugar, honey) or high glycaemic index foods (white rice, white bread, cakes, cookies, breakfast cereals, chips, mango, watermelon, grapes, pineapple, sweetened dairy products).
Are all PCOS patients overweight or obese?
No, all patients are not obese or overweight. An entity called “Lean PCOS” also exists. So if there are symptoms matching the PCOS profile, you should visit your gynaecologist.
Can you conceive with PCOS?
It is difficult for females suffering from PCOS to conceive spontaneously due to erratic menstrual cycles. So the ovulatory days cannot be predicted easily. But with medical help, conception is possible. Some may need mild assistance, few may need IVF depending on the severity of disease. Moreover, with improvement in lifestyle, dietary habits and weight loss, females conceive spontaneously.
Is PCOS curable?
Currently, there is no cure for it. But it’s symptoms can be controlled and eliminated. With correct approach and treatment, acne, hirsutism and menstrual irregularities can be managed.
Are hormonal pills the only way to regulate periods?
Traditionally, short term use of OC pills can be used to regulate the cycles but long term use of it carries its own side-effects.
Can acne and facial hair be treated?
Acne can be managed with topical and oral therapies. The facial hair can become thin but the density does not change. For complete removal, laser treatment is the option.
Why infertility treatment is more tricky in cases of PCOS?
Females with PCOS have chances of production of excessive eggs with ovulation stimulation (OHSS – ovarian hypestimulation syndrome). So the dose and drug for ovarian stimulation has to be decided very meticulously and judiciously.
How does PCOS affect pregnancy?
Pregnancy in PCOS females are prone for developing Diabetes in pregnancy, hypertension in pregnancy or preterm delivery. They also have higher rates of Abortions.
Overdiagnosis or underdiagnosis of PCOS?
Symptoms of PCOS may match with thyroid disorders, diabetes and other hormonal imbalances. So over and under – diagnosis of PCOS is common. There are specific clinical, hormonal and radiological criteria for diagnosis and management.
What are long term adverse effects of PCOS?
- High risk of developing Diabetes before 40 years age.
- High risk of Heart diseases by 4-5 times.
- High risk of developing hypertension.
- Sleep apnea
- High levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and low levels of good cholesterol
- Depression and anxiety
- Increased risk of endometrial cancer (uterus cancer)
PCOS patients can be managed well with creating awareness, modifying lifestyle and adequate medical help.
Disclaimer : The above is a sponsored article and the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of The Tribune editorial in any manner.
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