What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS, is a hormonal imbalance which affects 5-10% of women of reproductive age. The condition results in one or more of the following symptoms being present:
*Irregular or absent periods
*Excessive facial and or body hair (hirsutism)
The ovaries take on the appearance of bunches of grapes, each one covered with multiple cysts, these in fact are not cysts, but are small undeveloped follicles (eggs).
What causes PCOS?
It is not yet properly known what causes PCOS, however experts believe there is a genetic link, and that it has a tendency to run in families (hereditary). There is also a link to diet and lifestyle. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise may cause a women to develop PCOS if there is a family history of the condition.
The diagnosed of PCOS is generally confirmed when any two of the following symptoms are present
* Infrequent or no ovulation.
* Physical signs of increased levels of male hormones diagnosed with a blood test.
An increase in these male hormones will result in male characteristics being evident * Polycystic ovaries diagnosed using an ultrasound scan.
Symptoms of PCOS
Not all women will suffer the same symptoms
* Irregular or absence of periods
* Excessive hair on the face, breasts, inner thighs or around the nipples. * Acne
* Oily skin
* Thinning or loss of scalp hair
* Skin tags
* Skin discolouration around the neck, arms and under the breasts.
* Mood swings
* Weight gain
* Difficulty in losing weight
* Irregular or no ovulation
* Cravings or binges
* Difficulty in getting pregnant (infertility)
* Low self esteem
For further help and information on PCOS please visit the following.
Find a GP
08457 90 90 90 or http://www.samaritans.org
tel: 01903 771027