- Women's Health
Irregular Periods could be a sign of PCOS
When you notice you’re skipping periods and you often get it irregularly or you’ve stopped getting them at all, it could mean a problem with the ovaries, otherwise called PCOD (Polycystic Ovary Disease) or PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) or Hyperandrogenic Anovulation (HA). 2 out of every 10 women have PCOS in India, and 1 in every 10 women worldwide have PCOS.
Few symptoms are common in patients with PCOS. Acne is a very usual finding in many women but, have you ever realized that it could mean more than just a pimple. And hence this needs medical attention.
Hirsutism, or facial hair and growth of hair over non-hairy areas of the body is a tell-tale sign of PCOS.
Weight gain, with difficulty losing weight is another indication that your body is not able to lose weight because of certain hormonal imbalances and needs external aid from you to control this.
Women with a family history of PCOS usually show signs of early period disturbances and develop signs & symptoms of PCOS soon.
However, most women ignore their irregular periods till they discover the problem of infertility, and have trouble conceiving after marriage. Then an Ultrasound (Sonography) will reveal the cause of infertility as PCOS and these patients will need therapy before they can regulate the periods. Unless periods are regular, the ovulation isn’t achieved and hence this can cause infertility.
Weight loss exercises. Losing even 5 kgs can positively affect the patient’s outcome and maintain regular menstrual cycles. This is a very important aspect because often the biggest challenge for patients as well as doctors to treat PCOS patients is to regulate the periods. Once this is achieved, a lot of patients are cured more or less of most of the complications of PCOS.
Seeking medical help is the best option to prevent infertility in the future. Doctors usually prescribe OCP’s or birth control pills like contraceptives to regulate the cycle.
Treatment options of PCOS are limited to the symptoms experienced by patients. Many doctors use ovulation induction pills to promote periods and regulate the cycle.
Metformin is also used for insulin resistant cases. But is not effective in other cases at all, so check with your doctor if you’re prescribed Metformin and have no sign of low insulin levels or high sugar levels.
Hormonal therapy to reduce side effects is used as a last resort when other signs & symptoms are severe.
Long-term effects of PCOS can cause Diabetes in Insulin-resistant cases. Some patients also may develop depression and might need to talk to a Psychologist regarding this.