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PCOS – PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common health conditionthat affects 10-15% of women of childbearing age. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. PCOS is a very common and treatable cause of infertility.

What is polycystic ovary syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. This hormonal imbalance creates problems in the ovaries. Normally the ovaries make the egg that is released each month as part of a regular healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, the egg may not develop as normally it should or it may not be released during ovulation as it should be.

How common is PCOS problem in young women?

Approximately 10 -15% of women during the years you can have children have PCOS. Most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s, when they have problems getting pregnant or not having the regular monthly periods. PCOS can happen at any age after puberty.

Who gets PCOS?

Women of all races and ethnicities are at risk of PCOS. Your risk of having PCOS may be higher if you are overweight or if you have a mother, sister, or aunt with PCOS.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

  • Irregular menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may miss periods or have fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year). Or, their periods may come every 21 days or more often. Some women with PCOS stop having menstrual periods and periods will happen after taking hormonal medications.
  • Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair. This is called “hirsutism.” Hirsutism affects up to 70% of women with PCOS.
  • Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp; male-pattern baldness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases ( Acanthosis Nigricans), in the groin, and underneath breasts
  • Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area

 

What causes PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Most experts think that several factors, including genetics, play a role:

  • High levels of androgens.  Higher than normal androgen levels in women with PCOS can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle, and can also cause extra hair growth and acne.
  • High levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls how the food you eat is changed into energy. Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin. As a result, your insulin blood levels become higher than normal. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Can I still get pregnant if I have PCOS?

Having PCOS does not mean you can’t get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. If all other parameters are normal including husband’s semen analysis, not releasing the egg is the reason why PCOS women do not conceive. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don’t ovulate / do not release egg, then you can’t get pregnant.

Is PCOS linked to other health problems?

Yes, studies have found links between PCOS and other health problems, including:

  • Diabetes: More than half of women with PCOS will have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes (glucose intolerance) before the age of 40. 
  • High blood pressure: Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure compared with women of the same age without PCOS.
  • Unhealthy cholesterol: Women with PCOS often have higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. High cholesterol raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Sleep apnoea: This is when momentary and repeated stops in breathing interrupt sleep. Many women with PCOS have overweight or obesity, which can cause sleep apnoea.
  • Depression and anxiety: Depression and anxiety are common among women with PCOS.
  • Endometrial cancer: Problems with ovulation, obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes (all common in women with PCOS) increase the risk of developing cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).

The risks of PCOS-related health problems, such as diabetes, stroke, and heart attack, increase with age. These risks may be higher in women with PCOS than those without.

Will my PCOS symptoms go away at menopause?

PCOS affects many systems in the body. Many women with PCOS find that their menstrual cycles become more regular as they get closer to menopause. However, their PCOS hormonal imbalance does not change with age, so they may continue to have symptoms of PCOS.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. To help diagnose PCOS and rule out other causes of your symptoms, doctor will talk to you about your medical history and do a physical exam and different tests:

  • Physical exam: Your doctor will measure your blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and waist size. They will also look at your skin for extra hair on your face, chest or back, acne, or skin discoloration. Your doctor may look for any hair loss or signs of other health conditions (such as an enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Pelvic exam: Your doctor may do a pelvic exam for signs of extra male hormones (for example, an enlarged clitoris) and check to see if your ovaries are enlarged or swollen.
  • Pelvic ultrasound (USG): Ultrasound Scan will help to examine the ovaries for cysts and check the endometrium (lining of the uterus or womb).
  • Blood tests: Doctor will also check for other hormones related to other common health problems that can be mistaken for PCOS, such as Testosterone, thyroid hormones, high prolactin level, lipid profile for checking cholesterol levels and test you for diabetes.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

Once other conditions are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with PCOS if you have at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular periods, including periods that come too often, not often enough, or not at all
  • Signs that you have high levels of androgens:
    • Extra hair growth on your face, chin, and body (hirsutism)
    • Acne
    • Thinning of scalp hair
  • Higher than normal blood levels of androgens
  • Multiple cysts on one or both ovaries (Poly Cystic Ovaries)

How is PCOS treated?

There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS. Treatment plan can be discussed based on your symptoms, your plans for having children, and your risk of long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Many women will need a combination of treatments, including Steps you can take at home to help relieve your symptoms and Medicines

What steps can I take at home to improve my PCOS symptoms?

You can take steps at home to help your PCOS symptoms, including:

Losing weight: Healthy eating habits and regular physical activity can help relieve PCOS-related symptoms. Losing weight may help to lower your blood glucose levels, improve the way your body uses insulin, and help your hormones reach normal levels. Even a 10% loss in body weight can help make your menstrual cycle more regular and improve your chances of getting pregnant naturally.  Weight can be lost effectively by doing regular exercises and having healthy diet simultaneously.

Removing hair: You can try facial hair removal creams, laser hair removal, or electrolysis to remove excess hair. Procedures like laser hair removal or electrolysis can be done.

Slowing hair growth: Medicine Cream can help slow down the growth rate of new hair in unwanted places.

How can I get rid of PCOS problem?

PCOS problem is present in the genes.

  • It can be familial, mainly comes from mother’s side.
  • It does not go permanently.
  • Weight loss plays an important role in regulating PCOS problems.
  • Problems with PCOS can be reduced by losing weight by healthy diet and doing regular exercises.
  • Problems can get worse by gaining weight.

What types of medicines treat PCOS?

The types of medicines that treat PCOS and its symptoms include:

  • Hormonal birth control pill and hormone intrauterine device (IUD): For women who don’t want to get pregnant, hormonal birth control can make your menstrual cycle more regular and also help improve acne and reduce extra hair on the face and body.
  • Metformin: Metformin is often used to treat type 2 diabetes and may help some women with PCOS symptoms by reducing the insulin resistance. Metformin can lower both insulin and androgen levels. After a few months of use, metformin may help restart ovulation, but it usually has little effect on acne and extra hair on the face or body. Recent research shows that metformin may have other positive effects, including lowering body mass and improving cholesterol levels.

What are my treatment options for PCOS if I want to get pregnant?

You have several options to help your chances of getting pregnant if you have PCOS:

Losing weight: If you have overweight or obesity, losing weight through healthy eating and regular physical activity can help make your menstrual cycle more regular and improve your fertility..

Medicine: Doctor might prescribe medicine to help you ovulate, such as clomiphene, Letrozole and hormonal injections.

Natural conception: If the periods are regular and ovulation is documented, women can conceive naturally.

Ovulation induction and timed Intercourse: Ovulation induction involves using fertility medications to stimulate growth and release of 2-3 eggs for fertilization in women having trouble getting pregnant. If there is difficult in growing eggs with fertility medications, then low dose hormonal injections need to be given to grow and release the egg/eggs.

Intra Uterine Insemination: This is done if ovulation induction method fails. This is a technique where semen preparation is done to get most healthy and progressively motile sperm from the husband and is injected through the cervix into the cavity of the wife’s uterus using a fine tube.

In vitro fertilization (IVF): IVF may be an option ifovulation induction and IUI methods did not work initially. In IVF, your egg is fertilized with your partner’s sperm in a laboratory and then embryo is placed in your uterus to implant and develop. IVF has higher pregnancy rates and better control over your risk of having multiple pregnancies.

Surgery: Surgery is also an option, usually only if the other options do not work. Ovarian drilling is a surgery in which the doctor makes a few holes in the surface of your ovary using a fine needle heated with electricity. Surgery usually restores ovulation, but only upto 9 months.

How does PCOS affect pregnancy?

PCOS can cause problems during pregnancy for you and for your baby. Women with PCOS have higher rates of

  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Preeclampsia (High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy)
  • Caesarean Section (C-section)
  • Baby also has a higher risk of being heavy (Macrosomia) and of spending more time in a neonatal intensive care unit.

How can I prevent problems from PCOS during pregnancy?

You can lower your risk of problems during pregnancy by:

  1. Reaching a healthy weight before you get pregnant: By doing regular exercises and eating healthy diet
  2. Reaching healthy blood sugar levels before you get pregnant: You can do this through a combination of healthy eating habits, regular physical activity, weight loss, and medicines such as metformin.
  3. Taking folic acid: Talk to your doctor about how much folic acid you need

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What Our Client Say

We love that our patients feel inspired to write about the care they received here at Vishvas Fertility! Here are some of the wonderful letters and comments we have recently received.

pramod kr
pramod kr
2023-11-07
We visited Dr. Basavaraj for our treatment. We had to visit for over an year and couple of procedures. Doctor is very knowledgeable and has vast experience. Nurses and other lab staff are good. Initially the wait time was less ,however off kate the wait time is on higher side since doctor does scan and procedures in parallel. The wait time doesn't change even with prior appointment . This is especially true in Marathahalli centre. This can be improved. I feel cost here for treatment is much lesser than any corporate hospitals or other centres. Doctor is mostly straight forward and not verbose. Also doctor prescribes just enough medication which might or might not be good, hard to judge.
Rajeev Kothamachu
Rajeev Kothamachu
2020-11-12
I highly recommend the doctor if there any complications. I visited him and we got very good results. He has very good patience and listen all the problems. Doc is not that commercial he is collecting the same from last 4 years. We are now visiting him again for 2nd pregnancy..
Divya Sharma
Divya Sharma
2020-09-08
Dr Basavaraj is amazing and genuine person. Report asked by him are only needed one, no additional like many other place. All clinic staff are even good n helpful, Appointment recommended Over all very good Dr for fertility.
Vinay K
Vinay K
2019-05-16
Very good doctor , provides good information about the procedures ,
Abhijit Sarkar
Abhijit Sarkar
2019-05-14
We worship God and many says that Doctors are possibly the one. We (me and my wife) evident that in our difficult time. Thank you Dr. Basavraj for your treatment and care. You will always be there in our heart and any word of gratitude is not enough. We have blessed with a baby boy and he is doing great. we were struggling from almost 3 years and finally we have been blessed. We (me and my wife) can never forgot what you did for us. When in difficult time people goes away, you have been our hope and belief. we were really very lucky enough that we got a chance to meet you in person and got the treatment. Our Best wishes to you Doctor and may you help many more people who are suffering from fertility issues. We were really amazed that even after such a busy schedule doctor finds the time to respond whenever it was required (in panic situations). Thank you once again doctor for your personal attention. Our best wishes for you and your family. We will surely come and meet you very soon, I am sure my son also will be blessed by just seeing you. You have given us the reason to Smile 🙂
Bharath Konegadde
Bharath Konegadde
2019-05-06
Dr Basavaraj Shetty take care and advice till 3 months pregnancy . One of the best doctor in hsr
Dr Chetan Kumar N.G
Dr Chetan Kumar N.G
2019-04-16
Dr Devarshetty has a midas touch in his treatment apart from his knowledge skills as a infertility specialist. I recommend all patients to be open minded while consulting him. My wife had a very difficult phase in conceiving after getting ectopic pregnancy twice in 2015-16 because of her PCOD . Being a Dr myself i couldn't cope up with the stress with which i and my wife underwent during those times,later in 2016-17 after Dr Devarshetty advise and treatment we finally became parents and it was the most joyous moment of our married life. Now we have a healthy baby girl 10m old..posted mother and baby image.

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