What is PCOS

Demystifying PCOS

18th September 2020 8min read 614 views

In India, one in five women suffer from a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) The condition is not life-threatening, but it can cause several health complications in the future. For most women, PCOS may develop in their teenage years. Sadly, it could go undiagnosed for years. Most women only turn to doctors and gynaecologists when they have trouble conceiving, which may indicate a struggle with PCOS. There aren’t enough conversations happening about reproductive health in India, which is why so many women don’t know about the symptoms or when they should ask for medical help. Since September is PCOS Awareness Month, we thought we’d take a little time to start a conversation and help demystify PCOS.

What Exactly Is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome causes a woman’s ovaries to produce abnormally high levels of male hormones. Women who suffer from the issue will likely have enlarged ovaries with cysts. If a woman suffers from PCOS, it could affect her menstrual cycle, her appearance and her fertility.

What Causes PCOS?

Even though PCOS was first diagnosed in 1935, nobody has been able to conclusively understand what causes it. Studies have shown a relationship between PCOS and a woman’s weight, diet and family history.

Understanding the Symptoms

PCOS has various silent and visible symptoms. Women must be in tune with their bodies to recognise both kinds of symptoms before it’s too late to take action.

Silent Symptoms

  • Changes in mood
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Insulin resistance
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Issues with conception or infertility

Visible Symptoms

  • Excess facial hair
  • Acne
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Irregular/infrequent periods
  • Dark patches on the skin

Different women may suffer from a combination of different symptoms. If you’re suffering from any of these, it might be a good idea to book an appointment to visit your doctor. They’ll be able to help you understand what’s wrong and will also give you some guidance on how to control the issue if it is PCOS.

What Does PCOS Lead To?

While PCOS by itself is not especially dangerous, it can cause several other health issues. Women who suffer from PCOS are at a higher risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure.

Dealing with PCOS

Sadly, there is no treatment to cure PCOS. However, there are many different things that women can do to keep PCOS at bay or manage the symptoms.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Women who have PCOS should eat fresh vegetables and fruits and lean proteins. They should opt for carbohydrates that have a low glycaemic index to help them deal with PCOS symptoms like insulin resistance.

Stay Active

There’s a high correlation between PCOS and obesity. This is why women at risk of developing PCOS need to be physically active. Ideally, they should complete 150 minutes of exercise per week. They should spend at least 90 minutes per week doing aerobic exercises such as jogging or swimming. This will help them manage their symptoms better.

Lose Weight

Although more research is required, initial studies show that just a 5-10% reduction in weight can help women with PCOS. Once they start losing weight, women may experience more regular periods and improved moods. To lose weight, they must follow a healthy diet and stay active.

Almost 20% of Indian women between the ages of 12 and 45 suffer from PCOS. It appears to be a complicated and complex issue, but it’s important to normalise conversations about it. If women seek help early, they may be able to keep PCOS and the health issues it brings with it at bay. What’s more, women who have PCOS may find it more difficult to purchase an

affordable health insurance policy

given the kind of complications they are likely to face. This is precisely why women must look after themselves and their bodies and seek medical help as soon as they feel something is wrong.



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