POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that occurs in women due to increased male hormones in the female body. These male hormones are also called androgens. Most common symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome is irregular or no menstrual cycle, heave menstrual cycle, presence of excessive acne and body hair, infertility, pain in the pelvic region of the woman, obesity etc. Occurrence of polycystic ovarian syndrome can be genetic or can be due to environmental factors or a combination of both. Most of the women diagnosed with PCOS show signs of obesity or are obese and have no exercise routine. It is also genetically passed down to generations. Exposure to industrial endocrine disruptors like Bisphenol-A may lead to or worsen the condition in women.

Women diagnosed with PCOS have no ovulation due to high androgen levels. They could also be detected with cysts in the ovaries. When a specialist suspects PCOS, they will ask the patient to undergo exams in a laboratory like a pelvic ultrasound examination to confirm the same. Blood tests are done to check levels of Luteinizing hormone to Follicle-stimulating hormone. The levels of these hormones are high in women with PCOS.

Although there is no cure for polycystic ovarian syndrome, there have been improvements with regular exercise and body weight control. So, a lifestyle change is highly recommended. There have been instances where certain birth control pills and anti-androgens have helped regularise irregular menstrual cycle and resolve more relevant medical issues related to PCOS. If polycystic ovarian syndrome is the main cause for infertility in a woman, the specialist will recommend losing and maintaining the body weight and prescribe some drugs to regulate her menstrual cycle.

Other then ultrasound, gynaecologic ultrasonography can be done to check the ovarian follicles. In female human bodies that have regular menstrual cycle, a dominant follicle will release one egg during ovulation. After this ovulation cycle is over, the follicle remnant transforms into a yellow body which shrinks in 12 to 14 days and eventually disappears. In the case of polycystic ovarian syndrome, the follicles develop to a certain size which is smaller than the preovulatory size of 16 mm. Presence of at least 25 such follicles in an ovary identified during an ultrasound examination means the ovary has a polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM)

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