Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive age. It impacts the ovaries, leading to irregular or absent periods, excess male hormones (androgens), and the development of small cysts in the ovaries. While the exact cause of PCOS remains unknown, it’s likely linked to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

PCOS Diagnosis/ Symptoms:

  • Irregular or absent periods: This is the most common symptom, with periods being infrequent, irregular, or even absent for months.
  • Excess hair growth: Androgen excess can lead to unwanted hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, or back.
  • Acne: Androgen also contributes to increased oil production and acne breakouts.
  • Other symptoms: PCOS can cause various other symptoms like oily skin, male-pattern baldness, weight gain, and difficulty getting pregnant.
Dealing with PCOS:

While there’s no cure for PCOS, various approaches can help manage symptoms and improve your overall well-being:

1. Lifestyle changes:

  • Healthy diet: Prioritize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein while limiting processed foods and sugary drinks.
  • Weight management: Losing even 5-10% of body weight can significantly improve symptoms and health outcomes.
  • Regular exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Stress management: Techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help regulate hormones and improve overall health.

2. Medication:

  • Hormonal birth control: These can regulate periods, reduce androgen levels, and improve acne.
  • Anti-androgen medications: Medications like spironolactone can block the effects of androgens on hair growth and skin.
  • Ovulation induction medications: Used to help with ovulation if you’re trying to get pregnant.

3. Other treatments:

  • Metformin: This medication can improve insulin sensitivity and help with weight management and ovulation.
  • Hair removal: Different options like laser hair removal or electrolysis can manage unwanted hair growth.
  • Mental health support: PCOS can cause emotional distress, so seeking therapy or joining support groups can be beneficial.
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