Missing your periods, may not always be an indication of ‘good news’. It could also mean ‘a not so good news’, as irregular periods is also one of the leading symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This problem affects about 2 to 20 per cent of women in the 18 to 45 age group and doctors are of the opinion that PCOS is on the rise.
PCOS is a set of symptoms that is caused due to increased level of male hormone in women. It triggers a series of problems like irregular periods, heavy periods, acne, excess body or facial hair, difficulty in conceiving. Though the problem is known as polycystic ovary, which means numerous cysts grow in the ovary of the affected woman, but this is just one of the symptoms of the disorder and not the cause of it. There have been instances when symptoms of PCOS have been seen, despite the ovaries being removed.
So the main causative factor for this appears to be the hormonal imbalance, which in turn is caused due to certain genetic and environmental factors. While the genetic factors are not preventable, but the environmental factors are definitely workable ones. Gynecologists explain that increasing obesity is one of the main causes leading to the rising number of PCOS. If obesity can be checked, then there is surely a way to keep PCOS at bay.
With changing lifestyle including more sedentary habits, junk diet and excessive stress at the workplace women are finding it increasingly difficult to strike the right balance and include a healthy diet and exercise as part of their regimen. This in turn is leading to obesity, which is one of the causes triggering PCOS. This alone explains the reason for the sudden spurt in cases of PCOS and related infertility.
There is no cure for PCOS. It requires symptomatic treatment and lifestyle modification. While the former tackles each symptom at a time, the latter is aimed at tackling the root cause of the problem so that the symptoms are under control. Lifestyle modification helps when obesity is the trigger to PCOS. When obesity is under control then it is easier to manage the symptoms, while in symptomatic treatment one problem is tackled at a time. If it’s infertility due to PCOS then at times assisted reproductive techniques are used, while in cases of excess facial or body hair birth control pills are effective.
PCOS increases risk of the following:
Insulin resistance/ Type II Diabetes