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Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)


Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a endocrine disorder which is associated with ovulation problems; and elevated estrogen and androgen (male hormone) levels.

PCOS affects 5-10% of women and the cause is unclear.  The risk of PCOS increases with obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, family history of Diabetes or PCOS. The following symptoms are common in PCOS:

● Polycystic ovaries which involve ovarian enlargement from many small cysts.

  • Hyperandrogenism (elevated male hormone) which can cause hirsutism (increased hair growth on face, arms, legs, pubic to navel area), acne.

  • Anovulation (absence of ovulation). The monthly release of egg from ovary fails to take place; infertility.

  • Irregular menstrual cycles.

  • Alopecia (thinning of the scalp hair).

  • Obesity.

  • Insulin resistance in 25 – 75% of PCOS patients.

PCOS increases the risk of Type II (adult onset) diabetes, elevated cholesterol and Triglyceride levels, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, endometrial cancer ( cancer of the uterine lining), gestational diabetes.

PCOS Treatments:

  • Obesity – Structured diet and exercise

  • Excess Hair – Medications to inhibit future growth; electrolysis, laser therapy, plucking, waxing to remove existing hair.

  • Medications to lower insulin levels, regulate menstrual cycle, induce ovulation are often prescribed.

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