Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Hello Dear readers, Complements of the season.I am sorry for the long silence. As I mentioned before, I am undergoing a Master’s program in Public Health at the moment, so it’s been time-consuming. I missed writing on here and hope to make it up to You, fingers crossed. Today, I am going to talk about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (commonly known as PCOS) and the skin signs that come along with it.

Definition of PCOS and its basics

PCOS
The Ovary showing enlarged follicles

In a very simple context, the primary male sex hormone, that is Testosterone is at a higher level in women than normal.  This leads to multiple cysts in the ovaries. These cysts look like fluid-filled capsules.

Most of the signs and symptoms are sex-hormone dependent (testosterone)

  1. Infertility is a worrisome complication. This is because the follicles (which appear as cysts) are arrested in development, therefore fertilization is hardly possible. It then leads to the inability for a woman to conceive. Menstrual irregularities also occur.
  2. Hirsutism

PCOS is the most common cause of this disorder. There is an excessive growth of hair in places normally seen in males. For example, the chest, beards, mustache, etc.

  1.  Another major complication is Diabetes.PCOS

10 times more women with PCOS have Type 2 Diabetes than those without the condition. This is due to insulin resistance from tissues. Therefore, the insulin is present or even in high level, but the tissues do not respond to it, thereby resulting in high Blood sugar level.

  1. Other conditions associated with PCOS are Obesity, Hypertension, high Lipid level, increased risk for Heart Disease.

DiagnosisPCOS

When a woman comes to the Healthcare Professional complaining about Hirsutism, further examinations are done to check for polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The reason is it is very common in PCOS

 

  • The Doctor asks lots of questions in order to reach a diagnosis. Some questions may be ‘what is the interval of Your menstrual cycle?’ ‘Have You gained weight recently and how much?’, etc.
  • Blood sample(s) may be collected for hormonal examination.
  • A useful exam is an Ultrasound (US), which is done to view the ovaries. This is very good to detect polycystic ovaries

Therapy for Hirsutism

  • Hair removal methods

Shaving, waxing, use of depilatory creams, laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is expensive and requires several sessions, but it is highly effective. The best, price-wise and in terms of effectiveness is waxing. Furthermore, with regular appointments, the rate of hair growth slows.

  • In the Clinic

Medications such as Oral Contraceptives (containing estrogen) may be given.

  • Other therapies are drugs like Cyproterone acetate, finasteride, spironolactone, flutamide.

The medicines above are used for a long time before a good result (decreased hair growth in abnormal places) is seen. Therefore, One has to be dedicated. If the therapy is stopped on the way, the hirsutism may reoccur.

 

 

 

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. misschissyblog | 18th Dec 17

    Thank you for the insight

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