Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Myths & Facts

January 10, 2019

This blogpost is about one of the most common health problem affecting young ladies these days- the very (in)famous- “polycystic ovarian syndrome”!!!

As a gynaecologist I see so many patients who are concerned because they are having symptoms due to “multiple cysts” in their ovaries. Some are even worried that these “cysts” might require surgery or may be cancerous. Some are worried that this might mean that they would not be able to conceive without medical help. Some are bothered because they had managed to shrug off this disease a few months back and now it has struck them again. The young minds are flooded with numerous questions. By the end of this post I hope to have made things a bit more clear.

Let us start from the basics, what is PCOS?

PCOS is a condition which arises due to hormonal imbalance and can lead to distressing changes in the menstrual cycle, fertility and appearance of the affected lady often for which treatment is sought, though it can be associated with certain long term complications as well.


What should make someone suspect that they might have PCOS??

You may experience any one or more of the following symptoms-

  • irregular periods or no periods at all,
  • being overweight or having a tendency to gain weight easily or difficulty losing weight,
  • having more facial or body hair than is usual for you,
  • hair loss,
  • oily skin, acne,
  • depression and mood swings,
  • difficulty in conceiving (getting pregnant)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you can go to your gynaecologist/ family physician and share your concern. They will get a few blood tests and/ or an ultrasound done for you which will confirm the diagnosis if that is the case.


I have PCOS, what next, is it curable?

Unfortunately, PCOS is not curable. Though the symptoms and disease course can be controlled with medications and lifestyle modifications. Many women manage their symptoms and long term risks by adopting a healthy lifestyle- diet modification, regular exercise, maintaining optimum weight, adequate sleep and stress management. Medications mainly include oral hormonal pills and some insulin sensitizing agents


How does it affect me in the long run?

If you have PCOS then you are at a greater risk of developing the following:

  1. Insulin resistance and diabetes- one to two in every ten women having PCOS go on to develop diabetes mellitus at some point of time.
  2. High blood pressure, dyslipidemia and heart problems- which is more likely to be related to insulin resistance and overweight.
  3. Endometrial cancer- the lining of the womb (endometrium) can thicken if you have fewer than 3 periods a year, which may lead to endometrial cancer in a few women.
  4. Depression and mood swings
  5. Snoring and day time drowsiness and fatigue

I hope to have answered some of the common queries. In case you have any further questions or queries that need to be sorted then feel free to leave me a message and I will answer you back!



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