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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an ovulation and infertility disorder that occurs in many women. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a problem that occurs in with the ovaries. In PCOS, the ovaries are bigger than average, and the outer surface of the ovary has an abnormally large number of small follicles, which are the sac of fluid that grows around the egg under the influence of stimulating hormones from the brain (Thatcher, 10). PCOS involves more than just the ovaries filled with small cysts, which is associated with high male hormones.
In PCOS, these follicles remain immature, never growing to full development or ovulating to make an egg capable of being fertilized. For the woman, this means that she rarely ovulates (releases an egg) and so is less fertile. She also does not have regular periods and may go for many weeks without a period. Other features of the condition are excess weight and excess body hair. The condition is common infertile women and particularly common with women with ovulation problems (an incidence of about 75 percent) (Hammerly, 6). In the general population, around 25 percent of women will have polycystic ovaries seen on ultrasound examination but most have no other symptoms or signs of PCOS and are perfectly healthy.
It is not known if women are born with this condition, PCOS seems to run in families, which means that something that causes the condition is inheritable. When PCOS is passed down the man’s side of the family, the men are not infertile, but they do have a tendency to become bald early in life, before the age of 30 (Vorvik). While the research is in process they are trying to find out if there’s a clearly identifiable gene for PCOS. It seems like in the future one or two genes will be identified that play a fundamental role in determining a woman’s likelihood of developing this condition. Even if PCOS has a genetic basis, it is likely that not all women with the gene or genes will develop the condition. It is more likely to develop if there is a family history of diabetes (especially Type 2, the less severe type usually controlled by tablets), or if there is early baldness in the men in the family (Hammerly).
The ways in which PCOS shows itself are: * absent or infrequent periods a common symptom of PCOS. Periods can be as frequent as every five to six weeks, but could only occur once or twice a year or sometimes not even that. * more facial and body hair than usually found under the chin, on the upper lip, forearms, lower legs and on the abdomen (usually a vertical line of hair up to the umbilicus). * acne usually found only on the face. * Being overweight also a common symptom in women with PCOS because their body cells are resistant to the sugar-control hormone insulin. This insulin resistance prevents cells using sugar in the blood normally and the sugar is kept there turns into fat instead. * miscarriage and hard to get pregnant without the help of a doctor. Spend more time at doctor visits than women without PCOS would. If not then more likely a miscarriage might happen.

“Most women with PCOS will have the ultrasound findings, where the menstrual cycles are not normal are found in around 66% of woman and obesity is found in 40%. The increase in hair and acne are found in up to 70% where the unbalanced hormones are found in up to 50% of women” (Vorvik). It’s likely that there are different stages of the disease throughout life. Younger women are more likely to have irregular periods, on the other had older women have other problems such as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure), though their period patterns tend to become more regular. Women with PCOS also have more risk of strokes and heart attacks, but their death rate from these conditions is not increased.
The diagnosis is based on the patient’s symptoms and physical appearance. If the diagnosis seems likely because the patient might already have noticed some of the symptoms and the doctor will be doing different kinds of blood test such as female sex hormones, male se hormones, glucose, thyroid function tests and other hormone test along with an ultrasound examination to make sure everything is doing well in the abdomen. Once the diagnosis is made, nothing more needs to be done for some women, if their fertility is not an issue, if their weight is within normal limits, and if they do not have excess body hair. If any of the symptoms are an issue, then further advice and treatment, and possibly specialist referral might be needed.
There are several things that a person can do if they have been developing some the symptoms that PCOS can cause. Much of this involves lifestyle changes to make sure that your weight is kept within normal limits (BMI between 19 and 25). Also because there is a risk of developing diabetes later in life and a little more higher risk of heart disease, low-fat and low-sugar options should be considered when making choices about what to eat or to drink. Weight loss, or maintaining weight below a certain level, will have the short-term benefit of increasing the successful treatment and the long-term benefits of reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.…...

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