PCOS Managment

PCOS is a common endocrine disorder where there is an imbalance in the hormone production in a woman’s body. It is characterized by development of multiple cysts in the ovaries, affecting the hormone production.

PCOS causes:

  • Irregular periods, leading to infertility
  • PCOS is also due to production of higher amount of androgens (male hormones) from cystic ovaries. This results in acne, excessive hair growth, and sometimes male pattern hair loss.
  • There is malfunction of blood glucose levels, leading to diabetes.

Another potentially dangerous long term effect of PCOS is the possibility of developing endometrial cancer and cardiovascular disease in future.

Weight gain, dark patches under skin along with irregular cycles lead to psychological stress along with depression.

PCOS can occur in any woman in the reproductive age group and often affects younger women. It can be condition sometimes runs in families, but whether it is a genetic condition or governed by environmental factors is not really known.

PCOS Management

Clinical management of a woman with PCOS should be focused on her individual problems.

Obesity

  • Obesity (BMI >30 kg/m2) worsens symptoms. Weight loss improves the likelihood of ovulation and endocrine profile.
  • The right diet for an individual is the one that is practical, sustainable and compatible with her lifestyle. It is helpful to seek a dietitian consultation.
  • Increase in physical activity on a daily basis. A 30 minutes of brisk exercise on daily basis is required to maintain health and to aid or sustain weight loss.
  • Sometimes, a behavioural therapy will help in improving weight loss
  • Anti-obesity drugs may help with weight loss; but one has to consult a physician prior.

Irregular menstrual cycle

  • To restore menstrual cycle, a low dosage of oral contraceptives is given. This will initiate an artificial cycle and regular shedding of the endometrium.
  • It is also important once again to encourage weight loss because women with PCOS may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a 'lipid friendly' COC pill should be used.
  • If you are facing absence of ovulation, then consult a gynecologist for an ultrasound assessment of endometrial thickness.
  • For women trying to conceive, medications like clomiphene and metformin are given that stimulate ovulation and are usually effective.

Facial hair, rough skin, Acne

  • This condition is best managed by physical methods of hair removal (most effectively, electrolysis and laser treatment) and hormonal therapy. Acne treatment is best supervised by an experienced dermatologist.

Early diagnosis has the advantage of being able to take greater control over symptoms and treatment ensures help while reducing the risk of complications.

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