Other Disease/ Disorders

PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Being diagnosed with PCOS has probably left you with a bit of confusion. Perhaps you have been trying to have a baby, or walk around with hormonal acne.

What is exactly PCOS?

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome commonly known as PCOS, is a hormonal conditon that affects one out of 10 women.
  • It leads to elevated levels of androgen (male hormone) in womens body as well as high insulin
  • Most common endocrine diorder of females
  • Up to 80% of women with PCOS are obese3

What symptoms of PCOS?

  • Excessive body hair growth
  • Weight changes and trouble losing weight
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Low sex drive
  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Male pattern baldness thinning hair
  • High testosterone levels
  • Insulin resistance
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Mood changes
  • Trouble conceiving or infertility

How menopause influences osteoporosis?

  • Estrogen, a female hormone, protects against bone loss. After menopause, the ovaries produce very little estrogen
  • Osteoporosis during menopause is triggered by rapid decrease levels of estrogen which starts 1 year before the final menstrual period and lasts for about 3 years.
  • The natural effects of aging on bones may contribute to this bone loss as well

What are health Risks of PCOS?

  • Infertility
    • To get pregnant, you have to ovulate (release eggs). Women who don’t ovulate regularly don’t release as many eggs to be fertilized. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women
  • Metabolic syndrome
    • Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or obese
    • Both obesity and PCOS increase your risk for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
    • Together, these factors are called metabolic syndrome, and they increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
  • Sleep apnea
    • This condition causes repeated pauses in breathing during the night, which interrupt sleep.
    • Sleep apnea is more common in women who are overweight — especially if they also have PCOS. The risk for sleep apnea is 5 to 10 times higher in obese women with PCOS than in those without PCOS.
  • Endometrial cancer
    • During ovulation, the uterine lining sheds. If you don’t ovulate every month, the lining can build up.
    • A thickened uterine lining can increase your risk for endometrial cancer
  • Depression
    • Both hormonal changes and symptoms like unwanted hair growth can negatively affect your emotions. Many with PCOS end up experiencing depression and anxiety

How is PCOS treated?

  • Currently, there is no cure for PCOS. However, the condition can be managed with regular excerise and a healthy diet.
  • PCOS treatment starts with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Losing just 5 to 10 % of your body weight if you’re overweight can help improve your symptoms.

Common medical treatments

  • Your doctor will prescribe Birth control pills and other medicines can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and treat PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne and high blood sugar levels.


This information is intended for Healthcare Professionals in Sri Lanka only

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