Polycystic ovaries

Polycystic ovaries is a common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. The condition is also referred to as polycystic ovary syndrome /PCOS/.

In affected women, it is possible to see enlargement of the ovaries, which contain small fluid-filled growths called follicles, which are found in each ovary on ultrasound examination.

Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, all of which may be due to polycystic ovary syndrome.

When adolescent girls have a reduced frequency of menstruation or their complete absence, the syndrome should be suspected.

The exact reason for the onset of the syndrome is not known.

Early detection of the endocrine disorder along with getting rid of excess weight will help reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

What are the symptoms?

Clinical manifestations of the syndrome usually appear soon after menarche. In some cases, PCOS develops later in the reproductive years, for example as a result of significant weight gain.

The condition of women affected by the syndrome usually worsens with increasing body weight.

In order to be diagnosed, the doctor must establish two of the following clinical manifestations:

Irregular menstruation – the most characteristic sign. For example, the intervals between periods are more than 35 days, less than 8 menstrual cycles per year, no period for more than 4 months, or prolonged periods in which menstrual bleeding is unusually light or excessively heavy.

Increased levels of androgens – increased amounts of male sex hormones can cause physiological manifestations such as excessive facial and body hair /hirsutism/, age-related acne or excessively abundant juvenile acne and male type baldness – androgenetic alopecia;

Polycystic Ovaries – the ovarian follicles, the fluid-filled sacs that surround the female sex cells, become enlarged and filled with too much fluid, most often due to an inability to rupture and release, containing the ovum is in them, they are called retained follicles.

See your personal gynecologist if you are concerned that your periods are irregular, if you are unable to conceive or notice signs of androgen excess such as acne and male pattern baldness.

What are the causes?

Doctors are not sure what causes PCOS, but one or more of the following factors are thought to contribute:

• Increased levels of insulin – this hormone is produced by the pancreas and ensures the use of glucose or sugar, which is the primary source of energy for the human body, by the cells.

In the presence of insulin resistance, the ability to use insulin effectively is impaired and the pancreas must release more insulin to allow glucose to be absorbed by the cells.

Elevated insulin levels can also affect the ovaries, causing an increase in androgen production and affecting their ability to ovulate.

• Heredity – scientists are studying the likelihood that certain genes cause PCOS to occur.

And it has been established that if a woman’s mother and sister suffer from the syndrome, it is very likely that she will also develop it at a certain point.

Treatment of polycystic ovaries

To limit the manifestations of PCOS you can do the following:

• Keep your weight within normal limits for your height – obesity worsens insulin resistance;

• Consider changes to your diet – diets that include foods low in fat and high in carbohydrates raise insulin levels.

In such a case, it is good to switch to a low-carb diet, but do not sharply limit carbohydrates, but include more complex carbohydrates in your menu.

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