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What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common syndromes in women with menstrual irregularities cured with help of the Fertility Centre in Pakistan. PCOS occurs in about 5-10% of women, and its frequency rises in women with menstrual irregularities.

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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common syndromes in women with menstrual irregularities. PCOS occurs in about 5-10% of women, and its frequency rises in women with menstrual irregularities.

Main Clinical Manifestation of PCOS

  • Violation of the rhythm of menstruation

It often manifests in delays in menstruation, but there may also be their absence (amenorrhea) or acyclic bleeding. For patients with PCOS, menstrual irregularities are characteristic almost from the onset of menstruation or the next few years after the onset of menstruation. With PCOS, menstrual irregularities worsen with age, and it is not uncommon for menstruation to occur once every 3-6 months or completely stop in young women. In some cases, cycle disorders may appear a little later – for example, after weight gain or miscarriage/abortion. Menstrual disorders in patients with PCOS are characterized by anovulation – the lack of follicle maturation and the release of the egg into the abdominal cavity.

  • Increased hair growth (hypertrichosis) and hair growth in places unusual for a woman (hirsutism)

In PCOS, a woman’s ovaries do not function properly and produce more male sex hormones (androgens) than healthy women. The situation is also aggravated by the fact that in women with PCOS, less protein is produced in the liver that binds androgens and converts them into inactive forms, and hair follicles are more sensitive to androgens than healthy ones.

This whole complex of disorders leads to an extremely unpleasant symptom for women – increased body hair growth (hypertrichosis) and hair growth in places atypical for a woman (hirsutism). With hirsutism, the growth of coarse-colored hair appears on the face in the form of “antennae,” around the areola of the nipples, along the midline of the abdomen below the navel, and along the inner surface of the thighs. In severe cases, hair grows on the back, shoulders, sacrum, and chin. A gradual increase in body hair growth characterizes PCOS,

  • Infertility

PCOS is characterized by anovulation (lack of maturation and release of the egg from the follicle) and, as a result, endocrine infertility. Infertility in PCOS is often primary; before seeking help, the woman had no pregnancies. To find out what exactly PCOS is the cause of infertility, and not any other problems, such studies as the program of the husband (partner) and the assessment of the patency of the fallopian tubes are necessarily carried out. If menstruation is preserved, ultrasonic folliculometry is performed (observation of the growth and development of the dominant follicle in the ovary). Infertility is one of the clinical criteria for PCOS, but not a mandatory feature.

  • Metabolic disorders

Patients with PCOS, in most cases, are prone to the development of various metabolic disorders. The most typical are overweight or obese – more than 50% of sick women suffer from them. A progressive increase in body weight is characteristic in parallel with the aggravation of menstrual irregularities. At an older age, carbohydrate metabolism disorders (impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes mellitus) and lipid metabolism (increased plasma cholesterol levels) join.

  • Long-term health risks

At a young (reproductive) age, patients with PCOS turn mainly to gynecologists with problems such as menstrual irregularities or infertility. But even after treatment, pregnancy, and childbirth, we cannot consider the patient completely cured. If certain measures are not taken, such women have a higher risk of developing diabetes, arterial hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases. Women with PCOS have a more than 2-fold increased risk of developing atypical hyperplasia and endometrial cancer. Proper management of a patient with PCOS can level most of the long-term risks.

Modern Methods of Treatment

Therapeutic tactics are chosen depending on the woman’s age, reproductive plans, metabolic disorders, and complications of PCOS. The interaction and mutual understanding between the patient and her doctor are very important.

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The main treatment methods are hormonal therapy, drugs that increase the sensitivity of peripheral tissues to insulin, ovulation stimulation, and laparoscopic ovarian surgery. Our patients can always discuss with the PCOS Specialist in Lahore the most appropriate treatment method. Properly selected modern hormone therapy will provide a woman with a regular menstrual cycle, prevent hyperplastic processes and endometrial cancer, reduce the degree of hirsutism, improve skin and hair condition, and help maintain reproductive function.

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