Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS)
If you are having difficulties becoming pregnant and are experiencing symptoms of pain and abnormal bleeding, you may be suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Sometimes referred to as PCO, polycystic ovarian syndrome is a disorder of the reproductive system. Many women facing PCOS find that they have difficulties conceiving a child. This is because PCOS interefere with ovulation, making it very difficult for an egg to become fertilized. Testing and treatment is availabe for those suffering from PCOS.
What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
PCOS is a disorder that affects a woman's menstrual cycle. PCOS causes cysts to form on the ovaries, affecting the body's regulation of hormones and ovulation. Instead of releasing eggs monthly during ovulation, ovarian follicles rupture and become cysts, covering the ovary. Thought to affect between 6% and 10% of the population, the main hallmarks of the disorder are irregular mensturation and anovulation.
Who Gets Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
PCOS can affect any woman of childbearing age, though it is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 30. PCOS affects women of all races and cultures. It often runs in families, though there is no known genetic component to the syndrome.
What Causes Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
To date, there is no known cause of PCOS, however, there are a number of theories behind the syndrome.
Hormone Deficiency: PCOS may be caused by a hormonal deficiency. Women with PCOS do not have the proper levels of hormones that are necessary to stimulate ovulation. In order to ovulate, proper levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are required. Women with PCOS have abnormal levels of these hormones in their bodies, preventing regular ovulation and menstruation.
Insulin Resistance: PCOS may also be caused by insulin resistance. A large percentage of women with PCOS experience an improper response to insulin, resulting in decreased menstruation and ovulation.
Genetics: It is thought that there may also be a genetic cause for PCOS, and is tends to run in families.
What are the Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
There is a wide range of symptoms caused by PCOS. Every woman who has PCOS will likely experience different symptoms. Common symptoms include:
- irregular menstruation
- irregular ovulation
- weight gain
- male pattern baldness
- insulin resistance
- uterine bleeding