According to a survey conducted in 2021, PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects one out five Indian women. Yet 65% of women are clueless about this condition! Given that the vast majority is unaware of something as common as PCOS, we’re here to tell you all about it. What is PCOS? What are its symptoms? We’re going to look at every detail about this health condition caused by hormonal imbalance in the body. Read on.
What Is PCOS
It’s a health condition that can affect women in their reproductive years. It is characterised by the development of small fluid-filled sacs (cysts) along the outer edge of the ovaries. These cysts contain immature eggs, called follicles, which may keep your ovaries from releasing eggs regularly. The result? Irregular menstrual cycle and hormonal imbalance in the body.
What Causes PCOS?
What causes PCOS? While the exact cause is still unknown, several factors can play a role in the development of this condition. Let’s take a look at the five possible triggers of PCOS:
PCOS can be hereditary. There is evidence that your genetics have a big role to play in triggering the hormonal imbalance that can cause PCOS.
Higher Androgen Levels
For the unversed, androgens are male sex hormones that help them develop facial hair and body hair, heavier voice, and sex drive when they enter puberty. Now, testosterone–a type of androgen–is present in the female body in very little quantity. However, higher levels of these hormones in the female body can prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation), which causes irregular menstrual cycles. This in turn can lead to the development of small, fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries. High androgen also causes acne and excess hair growth in women.
Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to the insulin hormone and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood. As a result, your pancreas makes more insulin to help glucose enter your cells. Increased insulin levels can trigger androgen production, which in turn can suppress ovulation, and lead to ovarian cysts and tumours.
Low-grade inflammation is a chronic response to diseases, injuries, foreign invaders, etc that produces a steady, low level of inflammation constantly throughout the body. Chronic low-grade inflammation can trigger the ovaries to produce androgen, thereby leading to development of fluid-filled sacs or cysts around them.
PCOS in young adults can also be correlated to a sedentary lifestyle and lack of nutritional food. Both these factors can lead to health problems like obesity and metabolic imbalances like insulin resistance. This in turn can up the androgen levels and cause PCOS.
What Are The Symptoms Of PCOS
While your doc is the best person to confirm whether or not you have PCOS, you can still look out for these five signs before you head for a diagnosis:
Dark Patches On Your Skin
Rings around your neck or elbow that are darker than your skin tone can be a combined effect of insulin resistance and PCOS. You must speak to your doc if you notice them.
Irregular Or Heavy Periods
Since androgens suppress ovulation, PCOS can cause irregular periods. You may notice that your periods come before or after the ideal 28-30 day gap. Additionally, your periods might even be heavier than usual.
Hellish PMS Week
While a mild degree of PMS symptoms like period cramps, mood swings, hunger pangs, and fatigue are common and not a cause of worry, those with PCOS can experience a higher degree of these symptoms. Period cramps that disrupt your routine, fatigue that makes it difficult to get out of bed, food cravings that are absolutely uncontrollable, and extreme mood swings. If this sounds like your PMS week, you must go for a proper diagnosis.
Excess androgen can cause hair thinning, bald patches, acne, and excessive facial and body hair (hirsutism). This, in fact, is one of the most obvious signs of PCOS.
Difficulty In Conceiving
Not all women with PCOS face difficulty in conceiving. However, the delay in ovulation or the inability of the ovary to release eggs in case of PCOS can lead to fertility issues in women. If you’ve been facing difficulty in conceiving, you must get checked for PCOS. In fact, to be on the safer side, you must get checked for it before planning a baby so that there are no pregnancy complications later on.
How To Manage PCOS
Now that you know about the symptoms of PCOS, let’s understand how to manage this condition. While there’s no definite cure for PCOS, it can be managed by making a few lifestyle changes. Exercising for 30-45 minutes at least thrice a week is a great way to maintain healthy body weight and keep problems like obesity and insulin resistance at bay. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you accomplish this further and keep hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies at bay. Additionally, your doctor may also prescribe androgen-blocking medicines or hormonal birth control pills depending on your condition.
Sirona Recommends: Best Products To Manage PCOS
Sirona Feminine Pain Relief Patch
PCOS can aggravate your menstrual cramps. But you can count on Sirona’s Feminine Pain Relief Patch to reduce the pain. Sticking this sleek patch can provide instant relief from pain without causing any side-effects. That’s because it is made with natural pain-relieving ingredients like menthol and eucalyptus oil. It is easy to carry and stays effective for 8-10 hours.
Sirona Pain-Relief Heat Patch
Made with 100% natural ingredients, The Pain Relief Heat Patch By Sirona is the perfect, side effect-free alternative to dealing with period cramps. Sticking this patch on your abdomen can work like a soothing balm. These portable wonders can provide heat relief for up to eight hours straight and can be disposed of easily after each use. No hot-water-bottle hassles involved!
Sirona Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On
The Sirona Cramp Relief Roll On can be used for some quick relief from pain in your lower back, abdomen, and legs. Packed with all-natural ingredients like lavender oil, clove oil, cinnamon, and eucalyptus, it helps relieve period pain, even when you’re on the go. It’s calming aroma helps relax your muscles and the smooth roll-on application makes it convenient to use.
You can pop one Sirona PMS Gummy every day to regularise your cycle and alleviate your PMS symptoms. Rich in vitamin B6 and chasteberry, these chewable gummies help restore hormonal balance and can improve your overall period experience.
Sirona Menstrual Cup
Ditch your pads and tampons for the Sirona Menstrual Cup. With a capacity of up to 28 mL, it offers leak-proof protection for eight hours straight and keeps you comfy all day–even if your period is heavy due to PCOS. Available in three different sizes (small, medium, and large), this cup will fit you like a glove and is sure to change your period experience forever.
We hope that all this info on what is PCOS, its symptoms, and ways to manage it helps you identify this condition. We urge you to not take it lightly and schedule an appointment with your gynae asap.
Featured Image: Pexels
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