PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) affects many women in modern society. The lifestyles of many women have truly been upended by this illness. Almost 15 to 20% of women suffer from PCOS according to statistics. It mostly affects teenagers and young women and is one of the major reasons for infertility in women, but not always. Here are seven things you must know about PCOS.
What Happens When You Have PCOS?
The bodies of most menstruators run on a 28-day ovulation cycle. The monthly production of eggs by the ovaries is referred to as ovulation. After being produced, eggs are either fertilized resulting in a pregnancy or are shed resulting in menstruation.
The regular ovulatory cycle is interrupted by PCOS. This results in an irregular menstrual cycle that can lead to infertility. “Polycystic” means multiple cysts, and thus, PCOS refers to the formation of multiple cysts in the ovaries of menstruators.
Polycystic ovaries tend to be bigger due to swelling, and have many follicles containing immature eggs clustered around the edge of the ovary, which causes the ovaries to stop functioning correctly.
What Are the Symptoms of PCOS?
- Women suffering from PCOS face irregular menstrual cycles.
- Obesity or excess weight gain is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS.
- Women with PCOS tend to suffer from infertility (but not always).
- Anxiety and depression, along with mood disturbances, are also symptoms of PCOS.
There is no definite cause for PCOS. Genetics, hormones, and lifestyle factors are the main causes of PCOS. A hormonal blood test or ultrasonography can be done to diagnose this disease.
PCOS & Excessive Hair Growth
PCOS causes women’s bodies to produce excess androgen. Androgens are a group of hormones mostly made up of testosterone and androstenedione.
An increase in the production of this hormone causes excess facial and body hair growth. This can cause skin pigmentation and also male pattern baldness in women.
The Impact of PCOS
- PCOS, in addition to the usual symptoms of irregular menstruation and weight gain, causes other diseases in some women.
- PCOS in women can lead to hirsutism. The excess production of the hormone androgen results in coarse and colored hair growing on women’s faces and bodies.
- Metabolic diseases like insulin resistance and early-onset diabetes can also be caused by PCOS.
- PCOS can cause hypertension in women.
What to Eat to Regulate PCOS
- Natural and unprocessed foods, which are high in nutrients and fibre, help in managing PCOS.
- High fiber & anti-inflammatory foods like apples, peaches, and blueberries.
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon
What Not to Eat
Here are some foods to avoid if you are suffering from PCOS.
- Processed food like candies, bread, and pastries.
- Coffee or any other caffeinated drinks.
- Red meat like steak, pork, and mutton.
- All forms of dairy products.
No Cure For PCOS
There is no magic pill or cure for PCOS. Unfortunately, once you have the condition, you will always have it. This is a lifestyle disorder and can be managed by major lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and exercise.
Fertility treatments can be done for women suffering from infertility due to PCOS. Dietary supplements and hormonal treatments are also used to manage the disease.