Mon, 19 Sep 2022 04:10 PM IST
SEPTEMBER is marked as International PCOS Awareness Month. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman's ovaries work. It is a condition where you may experience a few, unusual or very long periods. PCOS is a prevalent problem encountered by females after attaining puberty.
PCOS Awareness Month is observed from September 1 to September 30. It aims to improve the lives of those affected by PCOS. To help them overcome their symptoms and reduce their risk for life-threatening conditions. This provides women with an opportunity to share their experiences with PCOS and helps to educate women not affected by the disease.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Some factors such as genetics, higher levels of male hormones known as Androgens, and high levels of androgen prevent avert the ovaries from ovulation which results in irregular menstrual cycles.
The most common symptoms of PCOS include:
1. Irregular periods- A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month. Some women with PCOS experience fewer or no periods at all.
2. Heavy bleeding- The uterine lining builds up for a longer period, so you can experience heavier periods than normal.
3. Hair Growth- The women with females grow hair on their face and body including back and belly. Excess hair growth condition is called Hirsutism.
4. Acne- Secretion of male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and result in breakouts on areas such as the face, chest and upper back.
5. Weight gain- PCOS as a condition can result in increased weight. PCOS makes your body resistant to insulin. The extra insulin increases fat storage and hunger which can cause weight gain.
6. Darkening of the skin- Dark patches of skin can form in body creases on the neck and under the breasts.
7. Headache- The changes in the hormones can lead to increased headaches in some women.
How PCOS affects your body:
1. Sleep Apnea- It is a condition of repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupts sleep. This condition is more common when women are overweight.
2. Metabolic Syndrome- The increase in blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol together constitute metabolic syndrome which can increase the risks of heart diseases, diabetes and strokes.
3. Stress- The hormonal changes and imbalances can negatively impact your emotions. Women with PCOS can eventually experience depression and anxiety.
Gynaecologists say that more awareness is required about the condition, which prolongs for a lifetime and can be controlled by a proper diet and lifestyle. A survey by Uvi Health (a digital therapeutics platform) shows that less than 60 per cent of urban Indian women are unaware of PCOS. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), PCOS impacts approximately, 100 million women worldwide. WHO estimates that PCOS has affected around 116 million women (3.4%) worldwide in 2012.
(Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.)