Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that affects around 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. It is characterized by the presence of ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, and insulin resistance.
PCOS can cause problems with fertility, menstrual irregularity, weight gain, and other health issues. While there is no cure for PCOS, treatment can help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.
Women with PCOS have higher-than-normal levels of androgens (male hormones). These hormones can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle. They can also cause the development of ovarian cysts (fluid-filled sacs).
PCOS is a complex condition that has many different symptoms. The most common symptoms are:
- Irregular periods or no periods at all.
- Weight gain.
- Insulin resistance.
- Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, back, or buttocks (hirsutism).
- Thinning hair on the head (alopecia).
- Ovarian cysts.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. PCOS tends to run in families, so it is likely that there is a genetic component.
Studies have also shown that women with PCOS are more likely to be overweight or obese, which suggests that lifestyle choices may play a role.
PCOS can be treated with medication, dietary changes, and weight loss. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.