Early detection and treatment of a female reproductive system ailment known as PCOS can go a long way in ensuring a woman maintains her fertility levels.
PCOS, which is an abbreviation for polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a disorder impacting a woman’s endocrine (hormonal) system. The disease often strikes women of child-rearing ages and is categorized by a systemic rise in male sexual and reproductive hormones.
- Causes – In many cases, researchers and physicians are unable to pinpoint the ailment’s exact causes. However, medical professionals opine that certain factors might play a part in its development or exacerbation. Such issues include an elevated concentration of inflammation, excessive production of the hormone insulin and certain genetic flaws.
- Complications – If PCOS is not diagnosed in its earliest stages, the malady can -cause significant health problems, including diabetes, certain types of reproductive system cancers and unusual bleeding or scarring of reproductive organs like the ovaries.
Physical manifestations of the disease can vary from person to person and develop at different times. In many instances, the disease first begins around the time a young woman experiences her first menstrual cycle. However, the ailment can also develop later in life.
Presentation of any one of several symptoms might heighten a healthcare professional’s inclination to examine for PCOS. Red-flag manifestations include the following:
- Irregular Menstrual Cycles – Usually, afflicted women experience irregular menstrual periods. Irregular can mean occurring at unusually infrequent intervals or lasting longer than most periods do. Additionally, impacted individuals might witness heavy bleeding or other atypical symptoms.
- Signs of Excessive Androgen (Male Hormone) Concentrations – PCOS can be precipitated by elevated systemic levels of androgens. Therefore, stricken women might experience associated symptoms, including excessive hair growth or acne and other skin rashes.
- Ovarian Cysts – Despite the condition’s name, not all women experience ovarian cysts. However, in certain cases, the ovaries might have abnormal growths. Should these growths become excessively enlarged, they could cause blockages or impede the ability of these organs to produce the eggs needed for the conception process.
The Importance of Early Detection
A quick diagnosis can lead to undergoing treatment protocols designed to eradicate the condition and preserve fertility. Individuals who experience any of the red-flag symptoms should immediately report them to their physicians for prompt examination.
The illness can be difficult to treat and, like any other health malady, more advanced cases of PCOS present the highest chances for serious complications. On occasion, when PCOS has progressed to a moderate or advanced stage, treatment options might be limited to the administration of birth control drugs and surgical intervention. Each of these options comes with several health risks and significantly reduces a woman’s chances of conceiving.
Early Treatment Options
When PCOS is detected in an early stage, some physicians opine that attempting to reestablish hormonal harmony is key to curtailing or perhaps eliminating the condition. Women might accomplish this with the following:
- Engage in Physical Activity – PCOS has a tendency to manifest more severely in women who are overweight. Therefore, healthcare professionals suggest that all women of child-rearing ages engage in at least two-and-half-hours worth of mild to moderate exercise per week. Furthermore, exercise is also known to help regulate hormonal levels.
- Control Stress – Stress can precipitate numerous detrimental symptoms such as sleep loss, muscle tension and weakened immunity. These manifestations often occur because highly anxious individuals release an elevated concentration of “stress hormones.” These substances can also decrease systemic levels of reproductive hormones, thus creating significant hormonal imbalances.
- Consume a Healthier Diet – Women who consume a balanced, nutritious diet are less likely to experience blood sugar fluctuations that could result in the insulin imbalances that could precipitate the onset of the disease. Eating foods like lean meats, fish and produce like fruits and vegetables can prevent the onset of this and other diseases. Individuals should limit their intake of processed foods, as well as items containing excessive amounts of sugar.