Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome ? Symptoms and AdvicePCOS or Poly cystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that affects approximately ten percent of the female population, the symptoms vary from woman to woman but generally the main symptoms are:
- Infrequent menstrual periods or no menstrual periods or irregular bleeding
- Increased hair growth on face, chest stomach, back thumbs and toes,
- Infertility due to lack of ovulation
- Acne and oily skin
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Thinning hair
- Mood swings and irritability
- Sleep apnoea
- Patches of dark skin
There is no cure for PCOS, but each of the symptoms can be managed individually.
Birth control pills can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle in woman that do not wish to become pregnant. They will also help reduce the male hormone levels and reduce acne. All symptoms will return when the pill is stopped.
Diabetes medication can be prescribed to control the type 2 diabetes, namely Metformin. Metformin will reduce the amount of male hormones produced which will help slow down the excessive hair growth and can also help with ovulation.
Fertility treatment can be used to stimulate ovulation for woman that wish to become pregnant, although by using these medications there is a risk of multiple births. IVF is another option.
Laser hair removal and electrolysis are two non medical ways to remove unwanted excess hair. Other options are Spironolactone, which is a blood pressure medicine but it has been shown to decrease the male hormones effect on hair, or Propecia.
To relieve symptoms of PCOS it is important to keep healthy. Exercise and a healthy diet will help the body to lower glucose levels and to use insulin more efficiently. Even a small loss in body weight can help to regulate the menstrual cycle.
To help induce ovulation surgery is an option, although it is not recommended as a first course of treatment. Ovarian drilling is performed by the surgeon by making a small incision above or below the navel and inserting a small instrument that acts like a telescope into the abdomen. The doctor then punctures the ovary with a small needle carrying an electric current to destroy a small portion of the ovary. These effects may only last a few months and it is possible that the surgery can create scar tissue on the ovaries. This treatment doesn''t help with increased hair growth and loss of scalp hair but it will help to lower male hormone levels and induce ovulation.