Friday, June 27, 2014

PCOS Overview

 pcos specialty hospital in chennai, tamilnadu

PCOS Overview
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is defined by the presence of irregular menstrual cycles, excess body and/or facial hair, and polycystic ovaries, although not all women with the disorder have all these features. The term “polycystic” means “many cysts,” and PCOS gets its name because of the clusters of small, pearl-size cysts in the ovaries. These cysts are fluid-filled bubbles (called follicles) containing eggs that are immature.

While the ovaries and adrenal glands of all women release small amounts of “male hormones” called androgens, women with PCOS produce slightly higher amounts.

Androgens play a role in helping women grow and develop strong bones and muscles, and in sexual function. However, higher androgen levels can interfere with ovulation and normal egg development. Instead of an egg maturing and being released as usual each month, the follicles containing the eggs build up in the ovaries. This results in infrequent ovulation so that most women with PCOS have irregular and infrequent menstrual periods.

The large number of small fluid -filled follicles in the ovaries leads to their polycystic appearance and their often enlarged size. However, there is a difference between large cysts (generally bigger than 1 inch) some women develop and which may need more careful medical attention, and the small cysts of polycystic ovary syndrome.

The cause of PCOS remains unknown. Research suggests that many women with this condition may have decreased sensitivity to insulin, called insulin resistance. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is necessary to carry sugar from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is used for energy. When cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, the pancreas produces more insulin than normal to get cells to absorb enough sugar. This leads to high insulin levels in the bloodstream which, among other effects, make the ovaries overproduce male hormones. This creates a hormone imbalance that triggers or worsens some of the symptoms of PCOS. Insulin resistance also increases the risk of developing diabetes.

PCOS seems to run in families. Sisters of women with polycystic ovary syndrome have about a 50 percent chance of also having PCOS.

While there is still no cure for PCOS, the good news is that there are many effective ways to treat this condition. Together with changes in diet and exercise, these treatments are helping women with PCOS lead healthier and more satisfying lives. Even the problem of infertility can often be corrected.


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