Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones in women of child-bearing age. It affects one out of 15 women worldwide. The name PCOS describes the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries.
The hormonal imbalance creates problems in the ovaries. The ovaries make the egg that is released as part of healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as it should, or it may not be released as it should be. The ovaries therefore contain many harmless follicles that are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. These sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.
The common symptoms of Polycystic Ovaries are:
- Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual periods
- Increased hair growth on the face, chest, back
- Cysts on the ovaries
- Acne, oily skin
- Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
- Male pattern baldness or thinning of hair
- Mood changes – including anxiety and depression
- Sleep apnoea
The main features of PCOS are:
- Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles
- High levels of "male" hormones in the body, which may cause physical signs such as excess facial or body hair.
- Enlarged ovaries containing many fluid-filled sacs that surround the eggs.
If you have at least 2 of these features, you may be diagnosed with PCOS.
Who is at risk ? Your risk may be higher if you have:
- Obesity: It can cause serious menstrual disturbances & hormonal imbalances.
- A sedentary lifestyle which can lead to obesity.
- Family history - a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS.
- Between 15-30 years of age.
Treatment of PCOS
It is important that all the symptoms of PCOS are dealt with and managed long-term, to avoid associated health problems. PCOS is a long-term condition and long-term management is needed.
Depending on the symptoms you experience, management of PCOS can include:
- lifestyle modifications – increasing your physical activity levels and eating a healthy diet can help to manage PCOS weight reduction
- if overweight – research has shown that even five to 10 per cent weight loss can provide significant health benefits
- medical treatment – with hormones or medications.
Key facts to know if you have PCOS
- Even if specific symptoms are not causing an immediate problem, PCOS can have significant long-term effects, including diabetes, heart disease and endometrial or breast cancer
- Many women with PCOS have ‘insulin resistance’, which means the cells won’t allow insulin to work properly, resulting in higher levels of insulin and glucose in the blood
- Insulin resistance is more common if you are overweight
- A higher level of insulin leads to the production of more male-type hormones in the ovaries, which causes a range of symptoms
- Higher insulin levels may eventually lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
- There is no cure for PCOS.
- The best ways to keep insulin and male-type hormones levels lower and working normally are:
- Being physically active on most days
- Healthy eating
- Preventing weight gain or trying to lose some weight if needed. These can also help improve PCOS symptoms.
How VLCC Luxe experts can help you manage your condition?
- Losing weight is challenging with PCOS but doing so can help reduce the male hormone levels in the body. A decrease in body fat will lower the conversion of androgens to estrogen and thereby help restore ovulation.
- The diet for all facets of PCOS i.e. overweight, insulin resistance, acne, etc. is taken care by dieticians. This is done after taking a meticulous diet and medical history. A BCA (Body Composition Analysis), BMI, waist circumference and visceral fat area helps to decide the exact therapy for the individual.
- Specific activity patterns are advised by the physiotherapists which help to lose weight and improve insulin resistance.
- As this condition affects the skin and hair, there are special cosmetological and dermatological treatments available in VLCC Luxe with excellent results for acne and hirsuitism, providing best validated solutions under one roof.
- This condition is often worsened by stress, diet, smoking, alcohol and lack of exercise. Our team of experts comprising of counselors, doctors, cosmetologist, dermatologist and fitness experts ensure that special care is taken to improve your health status.