When my doctor told me I had PCOS, the term scared me. It sounded something very critical as the name polycystic ovarian syndrome sounded complicated. However, my fertility doctor explained that condition is a very common one causing ovulation disorders in women of reproductive age. PCOS is a primary ovarian condition where there are many minute cysts present in the ovaries along with excess production of androgens.
Symptoms of PCOS
Some common symptoms of PCOS which I experienced included an excessive hair growth in my face and body along with a gain in weight, period which are not regular and at times even absent periods. For me ovulation was infrequent though in some cases it may also be absent as I learnt. You may see that in your particular case the symptoms may vary to some extent. Some of you may have problems related to obesity, high cholesterol or acne in some cases. Also, I experienced excess male hormones and infertility.
Incidence and diagnosis of PCOS
My surgeon inspected PCOS with laparoscopy, which allows direct inspection of the ovaries. However polycystic ovaries were appearing normal at laparoscopy. Ultrasound of the vagina showed the PCOS. However, I was also told that in case there is no cyst which is visible, the probability of PCOS cannot be ruled out.
My fertility expert advised me to check the blood hormone levels of LH, FSH, androgens and SHBG. The best time for these tests is usually first four days of the cycle. However, in case you are one of those who have no period, then the test can be performed anytime and repeated if the tests do not provide a clear picture. The levels of FSH and LH will determine the outcome. There are chances that the levels of androgens and testosterone may be elevated.
Treatment of PCOS at Raipur Centre, India
The team at Raipur,India helped me in treating PCOS. They explained that treatment is usually more effective if there is a strategy to change the lifestyle. Since I was overweight, I was first asked to lose weight. This helped me in getting the menstruation back and ovulation as well.
PCOS needs to be controlled to prevent problems. Like me, most of you will need a combination of these treatments to meet these goals.
- Birth control Pills: This option is for you if you do not wish to get pregnant and still control, menstrual cycles, reduce male hormone levels and help clear acne. However, as I experienced, symptoms return once the pills are stopped.
- Diabetes medications: Metformin (glucophage) helps women with PCOS symptoms. It reduces the production of testosterone, controls the blood glucose, and ensures there is a reduction in abnormal hair growth. There is probability of ovulation getting back to normal in a few months time and improvement in cholesterol levels and BMI (body mass index).
- Fertility Medications: PCOS leads to lack of ovulation. T. Clomiphene citrate +Metformin are recommended to stimulate the process of ovulation.
- Surgery: Ovarian drilling helps to bring on ovulation. When medicines fail, the next option is surgery. Laparoscopy is also another option.
- Changes in lifestyle: I realized that many PCOS and obesity are related. A healthy diet and exercise helped me to overcome this problem successfully.