Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a chronic and complex hormonal disorder; Which happens to women of reproductive age i.e. 15-45 years. It is said that one in every 10 women has this problem.
Diagnosis is often delayed due to ignorance and hesitation. It is an important public health problem. Without proper treatment, a PCOS patient suffers from various physical complications throughout life and even after menopause.
In this disease, excess androgens are secreted from the ovaries of women and sensitivity to androgens increases. Then due to the excess of androgen hormones, small cysts are formed around the ovaries. As a result, the egg cannot mature from the ovary.
It disrupts the regular menstrual cycle. In addition to androgens, another hormone is responsible for decreased performance. That is insulin. When the insulin hormone does not work properly, the body produces comparatively more insulin (hyperinsulinemia). Excess insulin disrupts the balance of other hormones. This insulin dysfunction is also responsible for excess androgens or testosterone.
- Irregular Menstruation: Prolonged absence of menstruation, premature or late menstruation, excessive bleeding. But some have normal periods.
- Unwanted Hair: Excessive hair growth on the face and other parts of the body like men.
- Excessive acne on the face and body.
- Hair loss and sometimes baldness.
- Darkening of the skin in different parts of the body, such as the back of the neck, armpits.
- Obesity or weight gain.
- PCOS creates metabolic and hormonal imbalances; Which affects the overall health. As a result, the patient’s risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease increases.
- Accumulation of fat in the blood, fatty liver occurs.
- The risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure is high. Infertility is a major problem for these patients.
- Rates of recurrent miscarriage, insomnia and sleep apnea, depression, fatigue and other mental problems are also high.
- The risk of cervical cancer also increases with age.
- PCOS is called a ‘disease of lifestyle’.
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle is the main and first step in the treatment of this disease .
- Weight control and symptomatic treatment are beneficial. If the body weight can be reduced by 5 percent, menstruation starts to become regular. And if the weight can be reduced by 10 percent, the functioning of the ovaries will be normal and the infertility problem will end.
Dr. Marufa Mostari , Assistant Professor, Department of Endocrinology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University
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