PCOS! I am sure most of you have come across this word because almost every single day you would find it being thrown in to conversations as another girl/woman has been diagnosed with the same. While you might know the full form of this word and begin to think that PCOS has got something to do with the ovaries, let me tell you there are very few who actually understand what PCOS is in the broader sense. 

All the more we do only our part of research when someone in our family starts suffering from PCOS. It’s time to dive in to the reality and gather nuances about poly cystic ovarian disease which is seldom spoke about openly. 

With such undiagnosed condition comes along lack of awareness. So here we are doing our bit to spread maximum possible awareness about the known and still not known condition PCOS.

Understanding PCOS

PCOS is the most common hormonal endocrine disorder seen in 1 female out of 10. So take note that when you are diagnosed with PCOS there is a sharp increase in the levels of male hormones or androgen (most commonly testosterone) which is responsible for the possible ups and downs in your regular menstrual cycle and much more. To be precise your hormones go for a toss and are out of balance.

To put it down simply, PCOS affects the ovaries and ovulation and is known to exhibit these three features-

1) Cysts in the ovaries   

2) High levels of male hormones

3) Irregular or skipped periods 

When suffering from PCOS, there are many fluid filled sacs which grow inside the ovaries and that’s how in derives the name Poly cystic which means ‘’many cysts’’. In short, these sacs are nothing but follicles with each one containing an immature egg. These eggs don’t really mature in order to trigger the process of ovulation. ‘’Ovulation’’ is a process wherein there is release of an egg which is supposed to be fertilized by a sperm.             

Lack of ovulation alters the levels of estrogen, progesterone, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). In turn the levels of estrogen and progesterone take a dip and there is a stark increase in the male hormones.

Why Do You Suffer From PCOS?

While there is no specific cause as to why a girl/woman suffers from PCOS, here are possible reasons as to why it steps in to your life all of a sudden.

1) Genetics- Genetics has got a huge role to play when it comes to PCOS. While there is no specific gene dedicated to PCOS, studies show the if your mum or sister has suffered from the given syndrome then there are chances of you going down with the same. 

2) Insulin resistance leads to high testosterone levels - If you suffer from insulin resistance then there are higher chances that you would have elevated testosterone levels in your body. 

3) Hormone imbalance can have negative effects on the body - Hormones are a pivotal part of your system. If your hormones go for a toss there are chances that it would take up a toll on your reproductive system just like in the case of PCOS.

What Changes Would You Start Seeing After The Onset The PCOS?

Once you have been diagnosed with PCOS or have been feeling ill of late, then it’s time to take a look at the signs and symptoms.
  • Irregular menses 
  • Increased androgen levels  
  • Sleep apnea
  • High blood pressure
  • High stress levels 
  • Oily skin and Acne 
  • Hair fall and hair thinning   
  • Weight gain  
  • Insulin Resistance  
  • Hirsutism(excessive facial and body hair growth)
  • Depression and anxiety  
  • Pelvic pain 
  • Decreased libido  
  • Fatigue 

But remember the symptoms might vary from person to person since not everyone would go through the same set of hormonal imbalance.

Difference Between PCOS and PCOD

All the more PCOS and PCOD might sound similar butt here is a small difference between the two. PCOD is Poly cystic ovarian disease/disorder which is limited to your reproductive system only. However PCOS is poly cystic ovarian syndrome which isn’t limited to just the reproductive system, it affects the entire body and hence symptoms like acne, hair fall, so on and so forth.