“Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome”, might be a new word for you, but have you ever heard of hormonal imbalance? Ever wondered why some women skip periods, despite not being pregnant? Well, here’s a leading cause of hormonal imbalance- PCOS.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. “Poly” means “many”, and “Cysts”, are fluid-filled sacs. Literally, this means many fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries.

PCOS affects the ovaries in women. The ovaries are responsible for producing the hormones (oestrogen, progesterone, and androgen in small amounts) that regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. The ovaries release eggs to be fertilized by sperm cells. The release of an egg each month is called ovulation.

When the ovaries are affected, the menstrual cycle is disturbed and this could lead to irregularities in ovulation and subsequently menstruation.

Many women have PCOS but don’t know it. In one study, up to 70 percent of women with PCOS hadn’t been diagnosed.

PCOS affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance.

What causes PCOS?

The exact etiopathophysiology of this condition remains unclear. However some several factors play a part. 

What are the risks factors of PCOS?

Other possible causes include excessive prenatal exposure to androgen/testosterone. 

What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

PCOS is a “syndrome,” or group of symptoms that affects the ovaries and ovulation. Its three main features are:

Others include:

How is PCOS diagnosed? 

No single test can suffice to make a diagnose of PCOS, rather a combination of test are done. 

How can PCOS be treated? 

There is no cure for PCOS, however the symptoms can be managed. 

Treatment plans are usually individualized based on symptoms, plans for having children, and risk of long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. A combination of treatment plans is used. 

Can I still get pregnant with PCOS?

The answer is Yes. Having PCOS does not mean you can’t get pregnant. Although PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women, it is treatable. Since PCOS affects the ability to ovulate, treatment plans are usually targeted at aiding ovulation and chances of getting pregnant. 

PCOS is a disease with many long-term complications. Patients need regular follow-up with their physicians for early detection and management of any untoward sequelae associated with the syndrome. 

However, judicious consistent lifestyle modifications such as maintaining healthy diet with fruits and high fiber meals, exercise, controlled blood glucose level, avoid alcohol and smoking have been found to reduce the severity of PCOS. 

Still, have questions on PCOS? Leave a comment and remember to share with someone. 

2 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this enlightenment.
    I was diagnosed of this once, read about it and didn’t go back to the hospital, I was too depressed, the only symptom I have is irregular menstruation. Thank you for shedding more light on this.

  2. Thank you for this. But I have a disturbing question.

    I have been bleeding for over a year now nonstop, first the scan result said endometriosis, then the next one said PCOS. Been given different kinds of medications to help stop the bleeding, which during use of the medication, in 2 days it will stop, but return in full force after 2 days. Drugs ranging from primolut-N, tranaxamic acid, mefinamic acid, vit-k etc.

    Now I went to another hospital where the gynea told me it’s an hormonal issues, and it’s normal for women who are hairy in abnormal places like the chin, breast, tummy and chest.

    Please I need help, I’ve gone bankrupt from conducting series of test and drugs which seems not to help. I need a final solution to this. I want to be like every other young girl out there with normal circle and free of wearing pads everyday.

    Please what do I do or take that will help me. Thanks and hoping to hear from you.

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