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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, What Exactly is PCOS?
27 Jan' 21

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, What Exactly is PCOS?

 

What exactly is PCOS?

  • Skin and hair problems are often the most visible symptoms of PCOS, and thus the cause for seeking medical help. Menstrual abnormalities, polycystic ovaries (when the ovaries generate many tiny follicles and do not consistently release eggs), obesity, and insulin resistance are all symptoms of PCOS (when cells do not respond well to insulin).
  • Although the exact aetiology of PCOS is unknown, scientific evidence suggests that it is caused by hormonal imbalances, notably high testosterone (also known as hyperandrogenism) and insulin resistance. In women, PCOS is the most common cause of infertility. PCOS causes hormonal imbalances that cause the ovulatory cycle to be disrupted.
How do I know if I have PCOS?
  • Because there is no one test that can be used to identify PCOS, a complete workup that includes lab tests and imaging is required. The levels of certain hormones, such as androgens, are generally measured in lab testing. Ultrasound of the ovaries is one type of imaging test.
  • The diagnosis can be established by seeking care from an experienced team that includes primary care physicians, gynecologists, endocrinologists, and dermatologists.
Skin manifestations of PCOS
  • Acne caused by PCOS frequently affects the lower face, particularly the jawline, chin, and upper neck. These locations are thought to have a hormonal pattern for acne, albeit this is not a hard and fast rule. Acne lesions may be deeper, bigger, and take longer to heal in women with PCOS. Acne in people with PCOS tends to intensify around menstrual periods. To treat this form of acne, dermatologists frequently recommend oral contraceptive pills or a drug called spironolactone. When administered in the proper people with no contraindications, these treatments can be quite effective in eliminating acne.
  • Hirsutism, or excessive hair development in areas where hair is normally absent or sparse, is a condition that affects women. The chin, neck, belly, chest, and back are all common sites for hirsutism. However, balding or hair thinning can be noticed on the scalp. An overabundance of testosterone is to blame for both of these hair problems.
  • Acanthosis nigricans, a black, velvety region of skin that commonly occurs in skin creases such as around the neck and underarms, is a rare skin disorder. This sort of skin problem is also linked to insulin resistance, and it could be caused by insulin stimulating skin cells, leading them to overgrow.
Treatment options and a personalized strategy
  • Although there is no cure for PCOS, there are numerous treatment options for the syndrome's varied symptoms. Treatment options are determined by a woman's priorities and symptoms. Being at a healthy weight, for example, might contribute to a reduction in symptoms, so dietary and activity changes may be beneficial. Hirsutism can be treated with electrolysis or laser hair removal. To increase menstruation regularity, some individuals may use birth control tablets. Metformin, a common diabetes medicine, can be used to help increase the body's insulin response.
  • Treatment is personalised for each individual and is based on whether or not pregnancy is a short-term objective. If a woman is attempting to conceive, certain drugs, such as spironolactone and retinoids for acne, should be avoided.

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