What are the Symptoms of PCOS
PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and describes a hormonal disorder in which many egg cells mature in the ovary, but ovulation does not occur. As a result, the follicles do not come out of the ovary and thus change the appearance of the ovary in a cyst-like manner. The syndrome is triggered by an uneven hormonal balance, in which more male hormones are produced. However, the exact cause is not yet known.
The three types of PCOS
- PCOS from insulin resistance
If the body cannot use insulin properly, as a result of which the insulin level in the blood is permanently increased, this can have a negative effect on ovulation. As a result, the ovaries eventually produce less estrogens and more androgens (male hormones). The increased insulin causes the pituitary gland to work longer LH (luteinizing hormone) and less SHBG (Sex hormone binding globulin, transports sex hormones), which also leads to increased male hormones.
- PCOS as a result of the pill
If ovulation is suppressed for years by the pill, the body may no longer be able to regenerate. In addition, the pill is one of the causes of insulin resistance, which can also lead to PCOS.
- PCOS due to inflammation in the body
Environmental influences that have a negative effect on the body, such as smoking, a poor diet or an unbalanced intestinal flora can lead to the hormone receptors being disturbed. These inflammatory processes mess up the endocrine system.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Amenorrhea (no period for more than three months)
- Oligomenorrhea (fewer than nine periods per year)
- Higher LH level (luteinizing hormone) than FSH level (follicle-stimulating hormone)
- Excess of male hormones (androgens) in the blood
- Multiple cysts on or in the ovaries, which are strung like a pearl necklace
- Hirtuism (increased hairiness according to the male distribution pattern)
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Acne (face, cleavage, and / or back)
- Diabetes mellitus
- high blood pressure
- Lipid metabolism disorder
Cause of the PCOS
Until today could no exact cause for polycystic ovary syndrome. Scientists assume, however, that the increased release of LH in the ovaries causes more androgens to be formed, which in turn leads to more estrogen. It is also assumed that several organs and adipose tissue are involved in the development of PCOS and that genetics may also play a role. Even environmental influences as well as lifestyle, diet and exercise are said to favor PCOS.
To diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome, the exact intervals between periods, as well as body weight, fat distribution and lifestyle are recorded. Using a Blood drawn between the third and fifth day of your cycle the hormones estrogen, androgen, LH, FHS and the thyroid hormone TSH are examined. A vaginal ultrasound gives a glimpse of how the ovaries look and whether there are cysts there. Other possible diseases are also excluded. A so-called oGTT, the oral glucose tolerance test, is also carried out. The patient drinks a glucose solution on an empty stomach. The blood sugar is then measured at different time intervals.
Treatment of PCOS
With the current state of knowledge, a complete cure is not yet possible. However, the side effects can be treated.
Since polycystic ovary syndrome often occurs with overweight, a balanced diet, exercise and the goal of a healthy weight are very important. A Weight reduction has a positive effect on possible insulin resistance and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cover vitamins and nutrients
Women with PCOS are often lacking in omega-3 fatty acids, chromium, zinc, and magnesium. For example, when taking the pill, the liver suffers as it is constantly busy breaking down hormones. It can be supported in regeneration with bitter substances from herbs such as gentian or dandelion. Bitter substances from numerous vegetables and salads also help.
Drug treatment / hormone therapy
To trigger the period, drugs are given that increase follicular maturation and the likelihood of ovulation. If there is also insulin resistance, drugs such as metformin are used to treat diabetes. Hormone therapy can help against severe acne or body hair, usually with birth control pills.
If all forms of therapy and medication do not work and the symptoms are severe, surgery is considered. Small punctures are made in the ovaries with special needles, whereby the hormone level drops and a regular cycle can be set up again. This effect lasts for about two years.
Video: Fertility treatment: an overview of the most important facts
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