One of the leading causes of infertility, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is an all too common problem among women today. Though awareness about this condition is more heightened than ever, the variety of symptoms with which it can present are diverse enough to make getting a firm diagnosis a bit tricky at times; however, getting that diagnosis is important to living a happy, healthy life free of the dangers that PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) causes.
The fact of the matter is that PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) may be rooted in Insulin Resistance, which is treatable but can cause a number of other severe health problems, including Diabetes, Syndrome X, and obesity. This being said, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) can also cause a wide range of health problems of its own, including infertility and an increased risk of heart disease.
Could you have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)? Well, if you suffer from any of the following symptoms, there is a chance. Do not be frightened by this list, though, as the point is not to scare you into believing that you have a dangerous illness, but to ensure that you are aware of the condition and of your likelihood of having it.
Symptoms of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome):
- Infertility. As one of the leading causes of infertility, many women with this condition are unable to get pregnant. The underlying cause of this symptom is an increase in androgens (male hormones) that disrupts the natural ovulation cycle.
- Missed or heavy periods. Oftentimes, women with this condition will have highly irregular or sporadic periods that, when they do occur, are accompanied by very heavy menstrual bleeding. This is also due to the imbalance of hormones in the body, which causes the female reproductive system to be thrown off kilter.
- Weight gain or problems losing weight. With excess insulin and glucose in their systems, many women with this condition tend to either put on weight or have difficulties shedding pounds.
- Excess facial or body hair. Due to an increase in male hormones, women with this condition may experience an increase in hair growth, particularly on the face.
- Hair loss. Women may also experience hair loss, much in the same way that men experience pattern baldness.
- Skin conditions. Oily skin, skin tags, blemishes, breakouts, and other skin problems often occur.
- Ovarian cysts. Though not all women with this condition experience cysts, many of them do. These cysts contribute to difficulties conceiving and irregular menstruation patterns.
- Fatigue. With so much glucose not being turned into energy, many women experience exhaustion when battling this condition.
- Mood swings, anxiety, and depression. In addition to a hormonal imbalance, women with this condition often undergo the emotional stresses that these symptoms cause. This may produce a variety of emotional reactions, from erratic changes in mood to devastating depression.
- High cholesterol and blood pressure. This condition can cause an increase in cholesterol and blood pressure, contributing to the increased risk of heart disease.
- Sleep apnea. Potentially due to an increase in weight, an estimated half of women with this condition experience sleep apnea.
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and Insulin Resistance are not matters to take lightly, as they can be accompanied by dangerous symptoms; however, they are not untreatable and, if properly taken care of, can even be reversed.