Women’s bodies change a lot throughout their lives. The more we grow, the more changes our bodies go through. Most of these changes are mainly hormonal. PCOS, or Polycystic Ovaries, is a common thing women go through during their reproductive years. But what is it exactly? What are the symptoms and causes? And how does it affect getting pregnant? You will find all the answers here.
All You Need to Know on Polycystic Ovaries
What are Polycystic Ovaries?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a problem that occurs due to hormonal imbalances. It takes place during any woman’s reproductive years. Doctors and experts explain that this happens due to having unusual amounts of androgens in a woman’s body.
When a lady is diagnosed with PCOS, it means there are small cysts or sacs of fluid building up on the edge of her ovaries. In addition, those hormonal imbalances can affect women’s reproductive health. But we will get to that in more detail below.
Polycystic Ovaries symptoms
PCOS symptoms can include:
- – Irregular periods.
- – High levels of androgen hormone.
- – Excess facial and body hair.
- – Severe acne.
- – Oily skin.
- – Trouble losing weight.
- – Overly gaining weight.
- – Insulin resistance.
What causes PCOS?
Doctors are still trying to pinpoint what causes polycystic ovaries exactly. So, we can say there is not a specific known cause for it. However, we do know that chances of getting it are higher if it runs in the family. Also, women experiencing obesity have higher risks of getting it. Issues like obesity, insulin resistance, and low-grade inflammation can be contributing factors as they can be symptoms.
When do I need to see a doctor?
We believe that maintaining regular visits to your doctor is essential. It will help you make sure your body is perfectly healthy as it can help you start treatments early if need be. Some ladies see their healthcare providers when experiencing irregular periods for long times. And we support that. Also, it is important to check with your gynecologist if you are having trouble getting pregnant.
How is it diagnosed?
Polycystic Ovaries are usually diagnosed through three different ways.
1| Pelvic exam.
During this exam, doctors’ reproductive organs check for unusual cysts or masses. They also check for unusual changes as well.
2| Blood tests.
Blood tests help measure the levels of hormones in your body. As we mentioned before, having high levels of the androgen hormone is a symptom. And you can know for sure through blood tests. When doing blood work for PCOS, doctors recommend a bunch of tests such as fasting cholesterol, triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, and other hormones.
Finally, doctors can diagnose polycystic ovaries through giving you an ultrasound check. Where they can see your ovaries, their thickness, and your uterus’s lining. All of this will be visible on a computer screen.
Does PCOS affect getting pregnant?
Yes, PCOS can affect your fertility thus your chances of getting pregnant. In fact, PCOS is one of the most common ovulation problems women faces. Having said that, making positive lifestyle changes along with taking the right medication can help you overcome this problem. In fact, some experts believe that ladies who experienced PCOS are more likely to get pregnant with twins! It is unclear if this is just a belief or a scientific fact. But it sure gives a happy positive spin to the situation.
How to treat Polycystic Ovaries?
Treating PCOS is very easy and doable. It starts with making certain changes in your lifestyle. Including losing weight, having a low-calorie balanced diet and exercising. Even if you are taking medications for this, weight loss will increase the effectiveness of those medications.
Which means there are some medications that doctors may prescribe for women with PCOS. Such as:
- – Birth control pills.
- – Progestin therapy.
- – Clomiphene.
- – Metformin.
Make sure to only take what your doctor prescribes and stick to the dosages they advise.