PCOS: More Common Than You Think

Menstruation is a normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle. And its irregularity may be caused by different things, and should immediately be checked by a professional.
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Menstruation is a normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle. Some also call it as period. Every month, a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy, and when no such thing occurs, the uterus or womb sheds its lining. The bleeding usually stops after five to seven days, and is usually accompanied by cramps, nausea, bloating, food cravings, and mood swings.

Menstrual blood is partly blood and tissue from inside the uterus, which expels itself from the body through the vagina. Menstruation usually starts from the ages 11 to 14, and continues up until a woman’s  50s before it stops, an occurrence which is called menopause. Furthermore, the irregularity of menstruation may be caused by different things, and should immediately be checked by a professional.

What is PCOS?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which affects a woman’s hormone levels. Women with PCOS have a higher level of testosterone, or male hormones, which is an imbalance. This causes irregular menstruation, wherein the woman tends to skip her monthly period for an indefinite time.

Many women have PCOS, and at times, some are even unaware of it. In one study, up to 70% of women with the disease were undiagnosed.

In PCOS, many small, fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries. The word “polycystic” means “many cysts.”These sacs are actually follicles, each one containing an immature egg. What happens is that the eggs never matures enough to trigger ovulation, which is why the woman tends to skip her monthly period.

Although the cause is still unknown, it was discovered that PCOS may also be hereditary. Aside from this, it has also been found that if the patient has a history of diabetes, or has a family trait of diabetes, it is more likely for them to have PCOS.

Up to 70% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance, meaning that their cells cannot use insulin properly. Insulin is a hormone the pancreas produces to help the body use sugar from foods for energy. Those with insulin resistance are usually diagnosed as prediabetic.

When cells cannot use insulin properly, the body’s demand for insulin increases. As an effect, the pancreas makes more insulin to compensate. However, extra insulin triggers the ovaries to produce more male hormones, which is  cause of PCOS.

How do you treat PCOS?

Treatment for PCOS usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise. Losing 5-10%of your body weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve PCOS symptoms.

Although losing weight in general helps, i has been found that some diets are more advantageous than others. It has been found that low-carbohydrate diets are effective in losing weight and lowering insulin levels. A low glycemic index diet, which gets most carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, also helps in regulating a woman’s  menstrual cycle.

Aside from a change of lifestyle, birth control pills and other medicines can also help regulate the menstrual cycle and treat PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne. However, it is advised that you see a doctor first before taking in any birth control pills.

If you have missed periods andare not pregnant, or have been trying to get pregnant for more than 12 months and have been unsuccessful, please make sure to see an obstetrician-gynecologist right away to have your condition checked..

On the other hand, if you have PCOS, plan regular visits to your doctor.  Aside from updating them regarding your menstrual cycle, you’ll need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible complications.

Thankfully with SeeYouDoc, scheduling your appointments with your doctor is now made easier. With many skilled obstetrician-gynecologists to ask help from, rest-assured that you will be in good hands.

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