Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
The term PCOS described as a syndrome characterized by hyperandrogenism-high level of androgen (hormone) in the blood associated with large polycystic ovaries(>10cm),and it has now become one of the most common endocrine disorders in young females during their reproductive age(12 to 49).
The syndrome is manifested by presence of any of these two following features-
1. Irregular periods or amenorrhoea (no menstruation). It means ovaries are not capable of producing eggs regularly (anovulation).
2. Excessive production of Androgen.
3. Polycystic ovary. When the ovaries contain multiple follicular cysts(more than or equal to 12)measuring about 2-9mm in size.
Others features may include-obesity (due to excess fat production), Hirsutism or abnormal hair growth (due to overproduction of testosterone), Alopecia (Hair loss from the scalp),Acne etc.
The exact cause is unknown, but the disease may run in families through genetic influence. Apart from this, diet rich in high fat &carbohydrates (fast food) may acts as a responsible factor by causing obesity. Moreover, abnormalities in hormone levels can be relate with the disease process-
1. Excessive production of testosterone (male hormone).
2. High levels of prolactin and LH (Luteinizing Hormone).
Furthermore, resistance to insulin may leads to development of Type 2 Diabetes mellitus & High cholesterol level in the later period of life.
a) Physical findings-obese patient or gaining too much weight in recent times, facial hair or growing of hair other than normal site of the body, acne etc.
b) Alteration of hormonal levels-as written above.
c) Scans (Ultrasonography)-help to visualize enlarged cystic ovaries.
The first step begins with reduction of body weight (if obese) by cut off extra fat &carbohydrate from daily diet. Consultation with specialists is needed if infertility suspected. Hirsutism can be treated by cosmetic measures or other anti-androgen therapy (oestrogen containing contraceptives might be an option).Moreover, drug that increase insulin sensitivity needed in certain cases if suggested.