Have you been trying to conceive for more than a year without success? Or are you worried about your irregular period? If you’re experiencing either of these symptoms, you may be suffering from PCOS.
PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a hormonal disorder that affects women of childbearing age. The most common symptoms are irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and acne. PCOS can also lead to fertility problems, obesity, and even type 2 diabetes. PCOS is a relatively common condition in Singapore, affecting up to 1 in 10 women of childbearing age.
What Causes PCOS?
There’s no one definitive answer to this question, as the causes of PCOS can vary from person to person. However, there are some potential contributing factors that have been identified. These include:
- Hormonal imbalances: One of the key hallmarks of PCOS is an imbalance of the hormones testosterone and insulin. This can lead to problems with ovulation and fertility, as well as increase the risk of other conditions like type 2 diabetes.
- Genetic predisposition: PCOS seems to run in families, so it’s possible that there is a genetic component to the condition.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can contribute to PCOS, as it can exacerbate hormonal imbalances and make it harder to manage the condition.
- Inflammation: Some researchers believe that inflammation may play a role in the development of PCOS, although the exact mechanism is not yet understood.
Symptoms of PCOS
The symptoms of PCOS can vary from woman to woman, but there are some common ones that many women experience. These include:
- Irregular periods: This is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged periods, or they may skip periods altogether.
- Excessive hair growth: Many women with PCOS find that they start growing excess hair on their face, chest, back, or other parts of their body. This is known as hirsutism.
- Acne and oily skin: PCOS can cause an increase in testosterone levels, which can stimulate the production of sebum (oil) in the skin. Too much sebum can clog pores and lead to acne.
- Weight gain: PCOS can often lead to weight gain, due to the hormonal imbalances it causes.
- Infertility: PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
How to Treat PCOS
It’s tough living with PCOS. It can feel like your body is betraying you. You might feel like you’re never going to be able to have a baby, or that your hormones are completely out of whack. But this doesn’t mean that things can’t be better.
There are a few things you can do to improve the condition. First, you need to get your hormones under control. You might need to take birth control pills or other medication to regulate your hormones.
You also need to watch your weight. PCOS can cause weight gain, so it’s important to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Losing even a few pounds can help reduce your symptoms.
Finally, don’t give up hope. While there is no cure for PCOS, the condition can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. At The O&G Specialist Clinic, our professional fertility specialists will be able to diagnose and develop treatment plans to help you get pregnant and ease the unpleasant side effects of PCOS.