One of prevalent female endocrine system disease estimated 7 to 10 out of 100 women in US in age group of 15 to 45 years suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome [PCOS].
Its symptoms may begin in adolescence with menstrual irregularities or even in a woman, oblivious that she has PCOS till she faces infertility at a later age.
It is characterized by a constellation of small, fluid-filled follicles co hormonal imbalance containing eggs that have not been released during ovulation due to. The amount of male hormones called Androgens that are released by ovaries and adrenal glands of women gets higher in PCOS.
This leads to hormonal disturbances, interfere with ovulation and normal egg development forming egg build-ups in the ovary instead of maturing and releasing. It is identified as genetic disorder, thou women without such family history may also suffer from it.
PCOS women are vulnerable to an increased risk of several diseases. There is a tendency to be obese and develop fat around the abdomen. In certain cases women struggle to loose weight but cannot. It is linked with insulin and glucose imbalances in the body.
Irregular/missed period, also called “Amenorrhea”, may occur due to inability of the ovaries to produce hormones that keep the menstrual cycle regular. Bleeding may be heavier than normal.
Large levels of androgen production may obstruct egg release every month that makes PCOS woman suffer infertility at times.
Excessive hair growth, also called Hirsutism, can be noticed. It causes due to high level of male hormones. It is seen in areas like moustache, chin, arms, legs, abdomen, chest or back. Thinning hair and a type of male baldness is also experienced by women with higher levels of androgens.
Acne and other breaks out along jaw line, chest and back is seen.Other skin problems are also noticeable like thick lumps grow in armpits, bra line or neck. Darkening of skin of underarms, skin folds, groin and neck is also seen which is due to insulin resistance and called Acanthosis Nigricans.
Increased LDL cholesterol that aggravate risks of heart attack and stroke, along with high pressure is also found. Liver function disorders can also be seen. Sleep Apnea due to increased Body Mass Index [BMI] or more number of free testosterone on blood vessel can occur.
There may be low sexual drive due to low sex hormone binding globulins [SHBG] in patients.