What Is PCOS?
This article discuss the question what is PCOS? in a brief and comprehensive way to give you the essential features to understand this condition.
First, PCOS stands for the polycystic ovarian syndrome, also called polycystic ovarian disease or polycystic ovary disease.
PCOS is amongst the most common endocrine diseases affecting women in
the reproductive age( 12 to 45 years). It is a condition marked by an
imbalance of female sex hormones which then cause an array of symptoms
affecting the menstrual cycle, fertility, the skin, hair and even put
women at risks of conditions such as diabetes.The ovaries are the chief
organs responsible for this condition, though not exclusively.
is often diagnosed in the 20s or 30s but symptoms often begin when the
first periods come at menarche. About 5% to 10% of women are estimated
to be suffering from ths condition.
A standard definition proposed in 2003 states that a woman who has 2 of 3 criteria below is said to have PCOS
- Oligoovulation and/or anovulation. That means ovulation either totally absent or present in some cycles only.
- Excess androgen activity.
The ovaries produce excess male sex hormones producing male
characteristic like deepening of the voice and male hair distribution
- Polycystic ovaries.
This is a characteristic feature that gives he condition its name.
Multiple small cysts like tiny balloons containing fluid are seen in the
ovaries. Not all women with PCOS have polycystic ovaries neither do
polycystic ovaries in a woman automatically means PCOS.
You can read an overview of the polycystic ovarian disease including symptoms and treatments.
The symptoms of PCOS can be many.
Common symptoms include
- Menstrual cycle problem:This includes no periods, few periods(oligomenorrhea) or heavy bleeding.
- Male sex characteristics including deepening of the voice, enlargement of the clitoris, male pattern of hair on chest,face and head.
- Skin changes: acne and dark or thick skin markings and creases around the armpits, groin, neck, and breasts due to insulin sensitivity
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