Troubled by facial hair, acne and irregular menstrual periods? Chances are you could be suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a largely lifestyle-related disease in women of reproductive age, which is seeing a rise in India, especially among young girls. A woman’s body secretes both male and female hormones. When the male hormones or androgen are secreted in excess, they form small fluid-like sacs in the ovaries which are known as cysts. These cysts enlarge in the ovaries and start interfering with the egg production and menstrual cycle. Across the globe, 4-11 percent of the female population suffers from PCOS. While the incidence of PCOS is less among rural women, roughly 30 percent of the urban women population suffers from it.
It is a common endocrine disorder where there is an imbalance in the hormones produced in a woman’s body. Pointing out obesity as being a major factor for PCOS, researchers said obesity leads to hormonal changes, which are responsible for PCOS. For younger women who desire birth control, the birth control pill, especially those with low androgenic (male hormone-like) side effects, can revert the PCOS effect by leading to regular periods and prevent the risk of uterine cancer.
Another option is intermittent therapy with the hormone progesterone. Progesterone therapy induces menstrual periods and reduces the risk of uterine cancer, but does not provide contraceptive protection.
While women are leaving their traditional roles behind and donning the hats which men once did, the stress build-up is only causing the hormones to go out of whack. There is an increase in male sex hormones leading to increased body hair, decreased breast size, etc. The periods are irregular and the ovaries produce many small, immature eggs instead of healthy, mature eggs. If the right kind of eggs isn’t produced, the chances of conceiving reduce.
The first thing you need to do is lose some weight if you want to get rid of PCOS. Eat the right kind of food. Eat lot of vegetables, fruits and protein-rich food. Have green vegetables for they contain a lot of folic acid in them. Consume vitamin C-rich food by eating plenty of fruits like orange, lemon, sweet lime, grape fruit, grapes and so on. Avoid alcohol and smoking as far as you can if you plan to conceive. With the advancements in the medical field, there are numerous ways to combat the problem. And remember, it’s always better to be fit before you try to conceive to avoid any complications arising during and after pregnancy.