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PCOS and its effect on a woman’s health & fertility

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a common health condition that affects one in ten women trying to get pregnant. 

PCOS and its effect on a woman’s health & fertility

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a common health condition that affects one in ten women trying to get pregnant. 

What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder that typically affects 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years, between puberty and menopause. ‘Polycystic’ means ‘many cysts,’ and it refers to the many small, fluid-filled sacs or ‘follicles’ that can develop in your ovaries if you have this condition. These are not harmful in themselves, but they can interfere with your hormonal balance and regular ovulation — the release of eggs.

How PCOS affects the ovaries
In women with PCOS, the ovaries produce too much androgen (a type of hormone), which can interfere with the development and release of eggs. Multiple follicles may grow but the eggs don’t mature enough to trigger ovulation. Instead of being released during ovulation, they may remain in the ovaries and later appear as cysts.

Symptoms of PCOS
The symptoms of PCOS can vary greatly from one woman to another, and some may not experience any symptoms at all. Common symptoms include:

Signs that you might have PCOS
In addition to the symptoms listed above, here are the telltale signs that you might have PCOS:

It’s important to note that having one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have PCOS. Other conditions like thyroid disease can cause similar symptoms. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s important to speak to a healthcare provider who can help determine the cause and best treatment options.

Causes of PCOS
The exact causes of PCOS are not fully understood, but it’s thought to be related to several factors, including:

Treatments for PCOS
There is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be managed to treat infertility, hirsutism, acne, or obesity. Here are some common treatments:

Prevention of PCOS
While there’s no sure way to prevent PCOS, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help you manage your weight and regulate your blood sugar levels, potentially reducing your risk of insulin resistance and the associated increase in androgen levels.

Remember, every woman’s experience with PCOS is different. Talk to your doctor or a fertility clinic to learn more about the condition and what to do about it in case you have PCOS. 

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