PCOS Overview and Treatment in Dubai
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common problem, affecting 10% of all women. PCOS is a hormone imbalance that causes irregular menstrual cycles, acne, and excessive hair growth. This condition usually begins during the teen years, and it can be mild or severe.
How many women with PCOS have fertility issues?
Around 40% of women with PCOS have infertility, and approximately 90% of women with PCOS do not ovulate. In addition, spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) occurs in around 50% of women with PCOS.
What are the symptoms and signs associated with PCOS?
The common signs and symptoms of PCOS are:
- Excessive hair on the face and body, which is called hirsuitism.
- Irregular menstrual periods that occurs too frequently or infrequently.
- Patches of darkened skin (called acanthosis nigricans) on the back of the neck, elbows, and knees.
- Weight gain and inability to lose weight.
- Tiny cysts on the ovaries, which can be seen with ultrasound.
What causes polycystic ovary syndrome?
PCOS is caused by hormonal imbalance related to the chemical messengers in the brain and ovaries. The symptoms of PCOS occur from high levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland and excessive insulin from the pancreas. Elevated levels of these hormones causes excessive testosterone production from the ovaries.
What makes the periods be irregular?
The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone due to signals received from follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone. High levels of insulin causes excessive production of testosterone by the ovaries. Along with imbalance in these hormones, menstrual irregularities occur.
How is polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosed?
The fertility specialist will ask you questions about your general health, symptoms, and menstrual cycles. A complete physical examination is done to assess for signs of PCOS. Blood tests are done, including hormone levels, lipids (cholesterol), and blood sugar. To check for structural problems and growths, an ultrasound is done. With PCOS, the ovaries are often large with multiple tiny cysts.
What causes cysts, excessive hair, acne, and darkened skin?
Hormone imbalances produce the signs of PCOS. The acne and excessive hair is the result of too much testosterone. In addition, people with PCOS have higher than normal levels of insulin in the blood, which produces the dark patches of skin. The cysts occur due to hormone imbalances. Some women with PCOS have many cysts, but others only have a few.
How does PCOS contribute to infertility?
Women with PCOS have healthy eggs, a normal uterus, and patent fallopian tubes. However, PCOS is a major cause of infertility. Due to inability to ovulate and irregular menses, infertility occurs.
How is PCOS treated?
The chosen treatment for PCOS is oral contraceptives (birth control pill). Other types of hormonal therapy works as well, such as the patch and the vaginal ring. Birth control pills contain the hormones needed to correct imbalances produced by PCOS. Oral contraceptives lower the level of testosterone, which regulates menstrual periods, improves acne, and lessens hair growth. Spironolactone is a drug used to decrease hair growth. In addition, metformin is used to lower the insulin level. This helps treat pre-diabetes and prevent full-blow diabetes.
How can weight loss help?
For women who are overweight, weight loss will improve the symptoms of PCOS and regulate hormone levels. In addition, healthy eating and exercise improves overall health and lowers the risk of developing diabetes.