Polycistic ovary syndrome

Polycistic ovary syndrome

Polycistic ovary syndrome introduction

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects reproductive-aged women. Ovaries, hormones, and metabolism symptoms characterise this prevalent endocrine disorder. PCOS affects women’s reproductive and general health.

PCOS causes enlarged ovaries with cysts. Immature follicles that cannot release eggs form these cysts. PCOS causes irregular or nonexistent menstrual cycles, making it hard to conceive.

PCOS causes hormonal abnormalities and reproductive difficulties. Androgens, male hormones found in women in lower concentrations, may be increased in PCOS women. Androgen excess causes hirsutism, acne, and male-pattern baldness.

PCOS also causes insulin resistance. When the body becomes insulin-resistant, blood sugar levels rise. This may cause weight gain, difficulties reducing weight, and type 2 diabetes.

PCOS is likely caused by genetic and environmental factors. PCOS symptoms may be treated, but there is no cure. Exercise, a balanced diet, and weight reduction, if needed, may improve symptoms. Medication may also control menstrual periods, testosterone levels, and other symptoms.

PCOS may influence a woman’s physical, emotional, and mental health. Women with PCOS should collaborate with healthcare providers to create a customised treatment strategy. Infertility, cardiovascular disorders, and mental health concerns may be detected and treated with regular checkups.


PCOS has no known cause. Researchers think genetic and environmental factors cause it. These may cause PCOS:

Hormonal Imbalances: Increased androgens (male hormones) and insulin levels characterise PCOS. Insulin resistance and high insulin levels may cause these hormonal abnormalities.

Insulin resistance: Cells become less sensitive to insulin. The ovaries create more androgens due to elevated insulin levels. Insulin resistance is linked to obesity and PCOS.

Genetics: PCOS is typically inherited. PCOS or its hormonal and metabolic problems may be more likely in women with certain gene variants. However, PCOS genes are currently being researched.

PCOS women have chronic low-grade inflammation. Inflammation affects hormone synthesis and insulin resistance.

Environmental Factors: Chemical or toxin exposure may also cause PCOS. More study is required to determine the processes and environmental variables involved.

PCOS is complicated and its causes differ from woman to woman. Different genetic and environmental factors might cause it. Diet and exercise may also affect PCOS severity and symptoms.


PCOS symptoms range in intensity. PCOS symptoms vary and may alter over time. Common PCOS symptoms:

PCOS causes irregular or missing menstruation. Some women have light periods, while others have hefty ones. PCOS women may spot between periods.

Cysts on the ovaries are a sign of PCOS. However, ovarian cysts alone do not diagnose PCOS.

Androgens, which are male hormones, are commonly elevated in women with PCOS. Hirsutism, acne, and male-pattern baldness may result from this.

Weight Gain and Loss: Many women with PCOS struggle with weight gain or loss. PCOS, which causes insulin resistance, may make weight reduction difficult.

Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes: PCOS causes insulin resistance, which makes cells less receptive to insulin. Insulin resistance increases insulin levels and type 2 diabetes risk.

Skin Issues: Women with PCOS may have acne, greasy skin, skin tags, and dark spots, especially on the neck, groyne, and underarms. This is acanthosis nigricans.

Due to irregular or absent ovulation, PCOS is a primary cause of infertility in women. PCOS women may need medicinal assistance to conceive.

PCOS may cause mood fluctuations, melancholy, anxiety, and a worse quality of life. These mental health issues may be caused by hormonal imbalances, PCOS symptoms, and chronic illness stress.

These symptoms might be caused by different illnesses, thus a doctor must properly diagnose PCOS. PCOS patients might get customised treatment and management.


PCOS is diagnosed by assessing a woman’s symptoms, medical history, physical exam, and lab testing. PCOS is usually diagnosed by ruling out other sources of symptoms and checking for particular criteria. PCOS diagnostics:

Medical History: The doctor will ask about the woman’s menstrual cycles, symptoms such hirsutism, acne, and weight fluctuations, and any reproductive or hormonal health diagnoses or treatments.

Physical Examination: Signs of PCOS include excessive hair growth, acne, and insulin resistance (skin changes, acanthosis nigricans). The doctor may test blood pressure and BMI.

Menstrual Cycle Assessment: Periods are checked for abnormalities or absence. Request a couple months of menstrual cycles.

Hormone and other PCOS-related blood tests are done. Examples include:

Hormone levels: Blood tests may assess FSH, LH, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and SHBG. These tests detect hormone imbalances.

Androgen Levels: Blood testing may detect high testosterone and DHEAS levels.

Insulin and glucose: Fasting blood tests may determine insulin resistance. Insulin resistance causes high insulin levels and poor glucose tolerance.

A lipid profile may measure cholesterol and triglycerides.

Pelvic ultrasound: A pelvic ultrasound may detect ovarian cysts and analyse their size and appearance. Ovarian cysts alone don’t indicate PCOS.

After ruling out other reasons and meeting specific diagnostic criteria, PCOS is usually diagnosed. The Rotterdam criteria—irregular or missing menstrual periods, clinical or biochemical evidence of high androgen levels, and polycystic ovaries on ultrasound—are the most widely used to diagnose PCOS.

A gynaecologist or endocrinologist should evaluate and diagnose PCOS. They can select the best therapy based on the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and test findings.


PCOS is categorised into four kinds based on its main symptoms and hormonal abnormalities. These kinds assist diagnose and treat ailments. These categories are not mutually exclusive, and a person’s PCOS may have traits from many types. Four PCOS types:

Insulin-Resistant PCOS: Insulin resistance causes this kind of PCOS. Due to cell sensitivity to insulin, insulin levels are greater in insulin-resistant PCOS women. Insulin resistance may cause weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Excess androgens may cause hirsutism and acne.

Post-Pill PCOS: Some women acquire PCOS-like symptoms after stopping hormonal birth control pills. Post-pill PCOS. Oral contraceptives impair hormone control, causing irregular periods, androgen excess, and other PCOS symptoms.

Some people acquire PCOS due to inflammation. Inflammatory PCOS raises inflammatory markers. Inflammation may cause insulin resistance, hormone disruption, and metabolic abnormalities.

Hidden-reason PCOS: This kind has an underlying reason that causes hormonal imbalances and symptoms. Adrenal hyperplasia, Cushing’s disease, and hormone-related genetic abnormalities might be concealed causes. These instances of PCOS need identifying and treating the root cause.

The categorization of PCOS types is continuously under study, and more subtypes may be discovered. PCOS therapy should be personalised to each patient’s symptoms, concerns, and hormonal abnormalities. For a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, see a gynaecologist or endocrinologist.


PCOS therapy seeks to minimise symptoms, hormonal abnormalities, and long-term problems. Symptoms, medical history, and objectives determine therapy. Common PCOS treatments:

PCOS therapy frequently begins with lifestyle modifications. Examples include:

Regular exercise improves insulin sensitivity, weight management, and menstrual periods. Get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week.

Healthy Diet: Eating well helps control insulin resistance and weight. Avoid processed meals, sugary snacks, and refined carbs and focus on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains.

Weight Management: Losing even a little weight may improve PCOS symptoms and hormone levels. A doctor or dietician may provide personalised advice.

PCOS drugs may treat particular symptoms and hormonal abnormalities. Examples include:

Oral contraceptives with oestrogen and progestin regulate menstrual periods, lower testosterone levels, and treat acne and hirsutism.

Anti-Androgen Medications: Spironolactone blocks androgens to diminish hirsutism and acne.

Metformin improves insulin sensitivity and regulates menstrual periods. Insulin resistance and prediabetes may need it.

Fertility medications: Clomiphene citrate and letrozole may promote ovulation in women seeking to conceive.

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be explored for fertility issues if ovulation induction drugs fail.

Hair Removal: Shaving, waxing, threading, and depilatory lotions help treat hirsutism. Laser or electrolysis may last longer.

Psychological Support: PCOS affects mental health. Mental health specialists, support groups, and counselling may assist with the emotional and psychological elements of PCOS.

To create a customised treatment plan, consult with a gynaecologist or endocrinologist. Tracking success, adjusting therapy, and addressing PCOS problems requires regular follow-ups.


Since its aetiology is unknown and hereditary, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) cannot be avoided. Lifestyle changes may help prevent or manage PCOS. These methods may help:

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity increases PCOS risk and symptoms. Regular exercise and a nutritious diet may help regulate insulin levels and prevent PCOS problems.

Regular exercise may help prevent or control PCOS. Brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing for 150 minutes each week is recommended.

A balanced diet may aid hormonal balance and prevent insulin resistance. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats should be prioritised above processed meals, sugary snacks, and refined carbs.

Limit Sugar and Processed Foods: Insulin resistance and weight gain might aggravate PCOS symptoms. Limit sugary beverages, sweets, processed food, and refined carbs.

To avoid overeating, watch portion amounts. Ask a qualified dietitian about portion control and meal planning.

Manage Stress: Stress may worsen hormone imbalances and harm health. Relaxation, hobbies, sleep, and mental health specialists may help you handle stress.

Smoking and heavy alcohol use may aggravate PCOS symptoms and cause hormonal abnormalities. Quit smoking and drink alcohol sparingly.

Regular check-ups and gynaecological exams may identify and treat hormone abnormalities early.

These lifestyle changes may not prevent PCOS, but they may help control its symptoms. Each person is unique, so visit a healthcare expert for personalised advice and assistance.


Medication may treat PCOS symptoms and hormonal abnormalities. Symptoms, objectives, and health determine drug choice. Common PCOS medications:

Oral Contraceptives (Birth Control tablets): Estrogen-progestin birth control tablets are typically administered to regulate menstrual periods and lower testosterone levels. They also reduce acne and hirsutism. These drugs prevent ovulation and balance hormones.

Anti-Androgen Medications: Spironolactone and flutamide may inhibit androgens (male hormones) to minimise hirsutism, acne, and hair loss. Oral contraceptives are commonly used with these drugs.

Insulin-Sensitizing Medications: Women with insulin resistance or prediabetes often use metformin for PCOS. Metformin lowers insulin levels and regulates menstrual periods. It may help control weight.

Ovulation-inducing drugs may be administered to attempting mothers. Clomiphene citrate and letrozole are often used. These drugs accelerate ovarian egg release and enhance pregnancy chances.

Glucocorticoids: Rarely, adrenal problems may cause PCOS, which can be treated with glucocorticoids.

A gynaecologist or endocrinologist should prescribe and manage medicine according to individual requirements. Before prescribing medicine and dosage, they will assess symptoms, hormone imbalances, and other health issues. To evaluate and change the treatment strategy, regular follow-ups are essential.

Discuss prescription side effects, dangers, and advantages with your doctor. They may advise on how medicine fits within a treatment plan that may include lifestyle changes, frequent check-ups, and other PCOS-specific techniques.

Risk factors

PCOS has many risk factors. These risk factors may induce PCOS or make its symptoms more likely. Common PCOS risk factors:

PCOS runs in families, indicating genetics. PCOS risk increases if a mother or sibling has it.

Insulin Resistance: When cells become less insulin-responsive, blood insulin levels rise. Insulin resistance increases PCOS risk. Obesity and inactivity frequently cause it.

Obesity: Obesity and PCOS go together. Obesity raises PCOS risk and worsens symptoms by increasing insulin resistance and hormonal abnormalities.

PCOS causes hormonal abnormalities, including high testosterone levels. These abnormalities may disrupt ovaries and cause PCOS.

Insulin-Related Conditions: Prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and other insulin-resistant conditions raise PCOS risk.

Sedentary Lifestyle: Inactivity may cause weight gain, insulin resistance, and PCOS.

PCOS usually appears in teens or early adulthood.

PCOS is more common among South Asian women.

These risk factors enhance PCOS risk but do not assure it. PCOS may occur in women with or without risk factors. PCOS is also a complicated genetic and environmental disorder.

These risk factors do not guarantee PCOS. However, awareness of these variables and a healthy lifestyle, including regular physical exercise and a balanced diet, may reduce risk and help manage symptoms. If you have PCOS or similar symptoms, see a doctor regularly.


Sure! PCOS FAQs:

What’s PCOS?

PCOS affects reproductive women. It causes hormonal abnormalities, enlarged ovaries with many cysts, irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and weight gain.
What are common PCOS symptoms?

PCOS causes irregular or nonexistent periods, excessive hair growth (hirsutism), acne, weight gain or trouble reducing weight, and infertility or difficulties becoming pregnant. Fatigue, insomnia, and mood instability may also occur.
PCOS affects fertility?

PCOS may affect fertility. PCOS women may have trouble conceiving due to hormonal abnormalities, irregular ovulation, and ovarian cysts. Many PCOS women may conceive with medical help and fertility medications.
PCOS: lifelong?

PCOS is a lifelong disorder with fluctuating symptoms. Some women have less symptoms as they age, while others continue to struggle with hormone imbalances and fertility.
PCOS: Curable?

PCOS may be controlled, but not cured. Lifestyle changes like eating well, exercising, and keeping a healthy weight are sometimes combined with medicine to treat particular symptoms or hormone imbalances.
Does PCOS raise health risks?

Yes, PCOS increases health risks. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep apnea, and endometrial cancer are examples. Lifestyle adjustments and medical treatment may lower these risks for PCOS.
Adolescent PCOS diagnosis?

Adolescence can diagnose PCOS. Some females develop PCOS symptoms including irregular periods and acne during adolescence. Early diagnosis and treatment reduce problems and enhance health.
Ovary cysts alone diagnosis PCOS?

PCOS is not diagnosed only by ovarian cysts. Diagnosis also entails irregular periods, increased testosterone levels, and ruling out other causes of symptoms.
Lifestyle modifications alone treat PCOS?

PCOS treatment include nutrition, exercise, and weight control. Lifestyle adjustments may often alleviate symptoms, regulate menstrual cycles, and prevent long-term consequences. Symptoms or hormonal abnormalities may need medicine.
PCOS inheritance?

PCOS may be inherited. PCOS risk increases if a mother or sibling has it. Lifestyle and environmental factors can cause PCOS.
For correct diagnosis, personalised therapy, and PCOS-related issues, see a doctor.

Myth vs.

Certainly! PCOS myths and facts:

Myth: PCOS exclusively affects ovaries.
PCOS is a multisystem hormonal disease. Hormonal abnormalities may influence ovaries, metabolism, insulin levels, and other health issues.

Myth: All PCOS women get ovarian cysts.
Fact: Not all women with PCOS develop ovarian cysts. Diagnosis also includes irregular periods and increased androgen levels.

Myth: PCOS mainly affects reproduction.
PCOS affects more than reproductive health. It increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep apnea, and endometrial cancer.

Myth: PCOS prevents pregnancy.
Fact: Fertility treatments and ovulation-inducing medicines may help many women with PCOS conceive.

Myth: Lifestyle factors alone cause PCOS.
Fact: Being overweight or inactive may worsen PCOS symptoms, although genetics also play a role. PCOS may affect women with a familial history regardless of lifestyle.

Myth: All PCOS women are obese.
Fact: PCOS women often gain weight, but not all are obese. PCOS may affect any weight woman. Remember that PCOS affects everyone differently.

Myth: PCOS is curable.
PCOS is incurable. Lifestyle changes, medication, and medical treatment may control PCOS symptoms. Symptoms, menstrual cycles, and long-term consequences are treated.

Myth: Only birth control pills cure PCOS.
Fact: Birth control pills are not the sole therapy for PCOS. Depending on symptoms and aims, treatment may include anti-androgens, insulin-sensitizers, and fertility medicines.

PCOS diagnosis, treatment, and information should be obtained from a healthcare expert.


Certainly! PCOS terms:

PCOS: A hormonal illness that affects reproductive-age women. It causes hormonal abnormalities, enlarged ovaries with many cysts, irregular periods, excessive hair growth, acne, and weight gain.

Hormonal abnormalities: PCOS causes hormone abnormalities, including high testosterone and oestrogen and progesterone levels. These abnormalities might influence health and menstruation.

Insulin Resistance: When cells become less insulin-responsive, blood insulin levels rise. PCOS may cause insulin resistance, weight gain, metabolic difficulties, and hormonal abnormalities.

Androgens include testosterone. Androgens may cause hirsutism, acne, and male-pattern baldness in PCOS.

Ovarian cysts: Fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries. These cysts, frequently tiny and many in PCOS, expand the ovaries.

Menstrual irregularities: PCOS may produce infrequent, extended, or absent periods. Ovulation disruptions and hormonal imbalances cause these anomalies.

Hirsutism: Excessive male-pattern hair growth in women. PCOS may cause hirsutism on the face, chest, back, or belly.

PCOS-related hormonal abnormalities may cause acne. PCOS women may have severe facial, chest, and upper back acne.

Insulin-Sensitizing Medications: Metformin is often administered to PCOS and insulin-resistant women. These drugs modulate glucose, insulin, and metabolic problems.

PCOS women wanting to conceive may need fertility treatments. These therapies may involve ovulation-inducing drugs like clomiphene citrate or letrozole or IVF.

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