What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by an imbalance of hormones which can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, acne and excessive facial or body hair. Other symptoms may include weight gain, thinning hair on the scalp and depression/anxiety. Treatment typically involves medications and lifestyle changes such as controlling diabetes, reducing stress levels and managing dietary habits.
How is it Diagnosed?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is typically diagnosed based on a physical examination, medical history and blood tests. Your doctor may also measure your body mass index (BMI) or have you undergo an ultrasound to look for ovarian cysts. Additionally, hormonal tests such as testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or prolactin levels may be taken to confirm the diagnosis of PCOS.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
The main symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) include irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, acne and excessive facial or body hair. Other symptoms may include weight gain, thinning hair on the scalp and depression/anxiety. Many women with PCOS also experience issues such as difficulty sleeping, fatigue and pelvic pain.
Yes, there are several health risks associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). These can include an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, uterine cancer and metabolic syndrome. PCOS can also cause irregular menstrual cycles which can lead to infertility and a greater risk of pregnancy complications. Additionally, women with the disorder are more likely to develop depression or anxiety due to hormonal imbalances.
What can you do help with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
First up from a western medicine perspective PCOS is considered largely untreatable and the focus is mainly on symptom management and reducing additional risk factors like diabetes and heart disease.
- Regular exercise – will help keep your cardiovascular system in tip top shape and help manage any potential weight issues.
- Stress management – basically the more stress the worse the symptoms and long term harm.
- Low inflammatory diet – As PCOS has a large inflammatory component to it reducing inflammation via appropriate foods will significantly improve quality of life and minimise symptoms.
- Acupuncture – can help with pain associated with PCOS and help regulate the nervous system which in turn has an impact on your hormones.