Polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility

WHAT IS POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, widely known as PCOS, is an endocrine system disorder that affects women in their reproductive years. It is a hormonal disorder involving infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual periods, and often excess male hormone (androgen) levels. Women with Polycystic Ovarian syndrome produce higher than normal level of male hormone. Higher level of male sex hormone can affect fertility and other aspect of our general health. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in marriages.

CAUSES OF PCOS


The exact cause of PCOS isn’t known. Factors that might play a role include:
Excess insulin: Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar, your body’s primary energy supply. If your cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then your blood sugar levels can rise and your body might produce more insulin. Excess insulin might increase androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.


Heredity: Research suggests that certain genes might be linked to PCOS.

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SYMPTOMS OF PCOS

Irregular periods: Infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month. Some women with PCOS get fewer than eight periods a year.

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Excess androgen (male hormone): Elevated levels of androgen may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.


Heavy bleeding: The uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, so the periods you do get can be heavier than normal. If the period occurs regularly and periodically, the chances of having heavy bleeding is reduced except for women with other underlining conditions.
Acne: Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.

PREVENTIVE MEASURE FOR PCOS


Maintain a healthy weight– Treatment for PCOS usually starts with lifestyle changes like weight loss, diet, and exercise. Weight loss can also improve cholesterol levels, lower insulin, and reduce heart disease and diabetes risks. Weight loss can reduce insulin and androgen levels and may restore ovulation. When ovulation is restored, the chances of achieving pregnancy are high.

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Limit carbohydrates- Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets might increase insulin levels. Studies comparing diets for PCOS have found that low-carbohydrate diets are effective for both weight loss and lowering insulin levels. A low glycemic index (low-GI) diet that gets most carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps regulate the menstrual cycle better than a regular weight loss diet


Be active– Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. If you have PCOS, increasing your daily activity and participating in a regular exercise program may treat or even prevent insulin resistance and help you keep your weight under control. Exercise is even more beneficial when combined with a healthy diet. Diet plus exercise helps you lose more weight than either intervention alone, and it lowers your risks for diabetes and heart disease.

Supplement


SUPPLEMENTS– Supplements claim to help with hormone regulation, insulin resistance, and inflammation associated with PCOS. Examples include cinnamon and turmeric. Cinnamon extract has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin resistance. It may also regulate menstruation for women with PCOS. Turmeric- may be promising for decreasing insulin resistance and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
REDUCE STRESS-Taking walks outside and creating space in your life for relaxation and self care can reduce your level of stress.

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PRACTICE GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE-Sleep affects your stress levels and helps regulate cortisol to balance your hormones. To up your sleep hygiene:
Aim for eight to ten hours of sleep per night.
Establish a regular bedtime routine.
Avoid stimulants and rich, fatty foods before bedtime.


REDUCE STRESS-Taking walks outside and creating space in your life for relaxation and self care can reduce your level of stress.

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