What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility. One of the most common symptoms of PCOS is PCOS acne or hormonal acne. But this can be treated.
Symptoms of PCOS
Signs and Symptoms of PCOS usually become apparent during your late teens or early 20s.
These symptoms can include:
- irregular periods or no periods at all
- difficulty getting pregnant as a result of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate
- excessive hair growth (hirsutism) – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
- weight gain
- thinning hair and hair loss from the head
- oily skin or acne
PCOS is also associated with an increased risk of developing health problems in later life, such as type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels.
What Causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Most experts think that several factors, including genetics, play a role:
- High levels of androgens. Androgens are sometimes called “male hormones,” although all women make small amounts of androgens. Androgens control the development of male traits, such as male-pattern baldness. Women with PCOS have more androgens than normal. Higher than normal androgen levels in women can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, and can cause extra hair growth and acne, two signs of PCOS.
- High levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, especially those who have overweight or obesity, have unhealthy eating habits, do not get enough physical activity, and have a family history of diabetes (usually type 2 diabetes). Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Who Gets PCOS?
Between 5% and 10% of women between 15 and 44, or during the years you can have children, have PCOS.1Most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s, when they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. But PCOS can happen at any age after puberty.2
Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk of PCOS. Your risk of PCOS may be higher if you have obesity or if you have a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. To help diagnose PCOS and rule out other causes of your symptoms, your doctor may talk to you about your medical history and do a physical exam and different tests:
- Physical exam. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and waist size. They will also look at your skin for extra hair on your face, chest or back, acne, or skin discoloration. Your doctor may look for any hair loss or signs of other health conditions (such as an enlarged thyroid gland).
- Pelvic exam. Your doctor may do a pelvic exam for signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris) and check to see if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen.
- Pelvic ultrasound (sonogram). This test uses sound waves to examine your ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
- Blood tests. Blood tests check your androgen hormone levels, sometimes called “male hormones.” Your doctor will also check for other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such as thyroid disease. Your doctor may also test your cholesterol levels and test you for diabetes.
Once other conditions are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of the following symptoms:
- Irregular periods, including periods that come too often, not often enough, or not at all
- Signs that you have high levels of androgens:
- Extra hair growth on your face, chin, and body (hirsutism)
- Thinning of scalp hair
- Higher than normal blood levels of androgens
- Multiple cysts on one or both ovaries
Treating polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
There’s no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be treated. Speak to a GP if you think you may have the condition.
If you have PCOS and you’re overweight, losing weight and eating a healthy, balanced diet can make some symptoms better. You can also improve symptoms by following and Ayurvedic Diet Plan suitable for your body. The the Ayurvedic Body Type Quiz to find your ideal food plan.
The Organic Apoteke Active range of products are designed to treat breakouts or acne when hormones are active or out of balance. This simple 3 step process can help balance the sebum production caused by PCOS and this heals the skin and keeps it free from acne.
Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?
Yes. Having PCOS does not mean you can’t get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant.
Your doctor can talk to you about ways to help you ovulate and to raise your chance of getting pregnant. You can also use a Ovulation Calculator to see which days in your menstrual cycle you are most likely to be fertile.
Products to heal PCOS Acne.