Much has been learned about PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) since its first description in 1935. Yet, despite a better understanding of the disease it still lacks specific diagnostic criteria making identification of patients suffering from PCOS difficult.
In a recent interview with The Times Kuwait, Dr. Rajani Soni, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Shifa Al Jazeera Clinic, spoke about PCOS and its growing prevalence.
With over 15 years of clinical experience in Obstetrics and Gynecology in India and Kuwait and more than a dozen articles published in leading international medical journals, Dr. Rajani is well-versed in all aspects of women-related health issues.
The name, polycystic ovary syndrome can be misleading because PCOS impacts far more than a woman's ovaries. It is an extraordinarily prevalent lifelong disorder which is the leading cause of female infertility, paving a way for diabetes, cancer and much more. The syndrome is ever rising, yet half of the patients are still oblivious of having them.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but experts believe the syndrome may involve a combination of disorders associated with an excess of testosterone and irregular ovulation. Some studies have found that if a mother has PCOS, there is a 50 percent chance her daughter does, too. This condition can develop in pre-teens, teens and post-menopausal women, as well.
Symptoms may vary from woman to woman, some having only few symptoms while others may have many or all symptoms. Symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, excess facial and body hair, baldness, severe acne, small cysts on one or both ovaries, insulin resistance, anxiety and depression, and weight gain. PCOS is responsible for 70 percent of infertility issues in women who have difficulty ovulating, according to the PCOS Foundation.
If you are diagnosed with PCOS, the most important thing you can do is to follow a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Eating healthy involves balanced meals containing whole foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Sugary food must be avoided at all costs.
In case of overweight women, the benefit of losing weight could prove to be helpful in reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer of womb, leading to more regular periods, increased chances of becoming pregnant, reduction in acne and decrease in excess hair growth over time and also improved mood and self esteem. Losing small amount of weight could make considerable difference to your symptoms.
Although there is no cure for PCOS, its symptoms and consequences can be reduced and managed by medicines. Today, women with PCOS are successfully managing their symptoms and long term health risks by just eating healthy and doing regular exercise. If diagnosed early, it can save a woman’s life.