POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known as PCOS is a common condition which effects 1 in every 10 women. PCOS affects the ovaries and the way they function.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, hair growth, acne and even hair loss at the crown of the scalp. It is possible to reduce these symptoms given the right treatment. If overweight, it is advised to lose between 5-10% of body weight to minimise symptoms of irregular periods. Weight loss is one of the most effective treatments. Some women also find the contraceptive pill helpful as this reduces testosterone levels and can help with acne and hair growth. Each woman is different and the treatments are tailored to the individual.
PCOS can often take a long time to diagnose. Doctors and specialists base diagnosis on 4 main points; raised testosterone levels which can be checked via a blood sample; cysts on the ovaries, these are detectable by a transvaginal ultrasound if necessary; menstrual irregularities and presenting symptoms; exclusion of other conditions also mainly done via a blood sample. Specialists need to exclude any other serious health issues before diagnosing PCOS.
If PCOS is not well-controlled, it can lead to other consequences such as, fertility issues, weight gain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer although this is very rare.
For further information on PCOS, there is a free Webinar available on Wellbeing for Women’s YouTube channel.
Date posted: 21 April 2022
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