Gynaecology PCOS

What is PCOS? Understanding the Symptoms and Causes

What is PCOS? Understanding the Symptoms and Causes

PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that primarily affects women of reproductive age. It is distinguished by the presence of ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalances, and insulin resistance, which can result in various symptoms such as irregular periods, weight gain, excessive hair growth, heavy bleeding, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Connect to a gynecologist hospital in Hyderabad to know more about PCOS.

PCOS is also one of the leading causes of infertility and can impact a woman’s overall health and well-being. Therefore, PCOS management necessitates a multifaceted approach that addresses the underlying causes and symptoms, including lifestyle changes, medications, supplements, and, in some cases, surgery. This article will go over the symptoms and causes, PCOS problems, and the best treatment options.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a disorder that affects women during their reproductive years from ages 15 to 44. Many women have PCOS but are entirely unaware of it. One study found that up to 70% of women with PCOS had not been diagnosed.

PCOS affects a woman’s ovaries, which produce the hormones progesterone and estrogen, which regulate the menstrual cycle. The ovaries also produce male hormones and androgens. Furthermore, the ovaries produce eggs fertilized by a man’s sperm. The monthly discharge of an egg is known as ovulation.

The pituitary gland releases luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to regulate ovulation. FSH stimulates the ovary to form a follicle, a sac containing an egg, whereas LH stimulates the ovary to release a mature egg. It has three main characteristics:

  • ovarian cysts
  • irregular or skipped periods, high levels of male hormones.
  • Many fluid-filled sacs grow inside the ovaries in PCOS.

The term “polycystic” refers to “many cysts.”

These sacs are called follicles and contain an immature egg each. Unfortunately, the eggs are never mature enough to cause ovulation. Oestrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH levels are all affected by ovulation deficiency. Progesterone levels are low, while androgen levels are elevated. Furthermore, extra male hormones disrupt the menstrual cycle, resulting in fewer periods for PCOS women.

The Effects of PCOS On Your Body

Effects of pcos on your body, Parvathi Hospitals

Metabolic Syndrome

Up to 80% of PCOS women are overweight or obese. Obesity and PCOS both raise your risk of:

  • High blood sugar levels
  • Blood pressure that is too high
  • Low “good” HDL cholesterol
  • High “bad” LDL cholesterol

These factors are referred to as a metabolic syndrome, and they increase the risk of:

  1. Diabetes
  2. Stroke
  3. Heart disease


You must ovulate to become pregnant. Women who do not ovulate regularly produce fewer eggs that can be fertilized. One of the leading factors of female infertility is PCOS.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

This condition causes frequent pauses in breathing during the night, causing sleep to be disrupted. Obese women are more prone to sleep apnoea, especially if they also have PCOS. Obese women with PCOS are 5 to 10 times more prone to suffer from sleep apnoea than non-PCOS women.

Endometrium Cancer

During ovulation, the uterine lining sheds. If you do not ovulate every month, the lining can develop. A thickened uterine lining increases endometrial cancer risk. To get PCOS treatment, connect to a top gynecology hospital near you.


Hormonal changes and symptoms, such as excessive hair growth, can both have a negative impact on your emotions. As a result, many PCOS patients develop depression and anxiety.

PCOS Symptoms

PCOS symptoms frequently appear during the first menstrual period. Symptoms may appear after you have been having periods for a while. PCOS symptoms vary. You have PCOS if you have got at least two of these symptoms.

Irregular periods: Menstrual irregular or infrequent cycles are common PCOS symptoms. Periods that last several days or more are also unusual. You may, for example, have fewer than nine periods per year. These periods can occur up to 35 days apart. As a result, you might have trouble getting pregnant.

Too much androgen: Excessive facial and body hair can be caused by high levels of the hormone androgen. This is referred to as hirsutism. Severe acne and male-pattern baldness are also possibilities.

Ovaries with polycystic cysts: Your ovaries might be bigger. Around the ovary’s edge, many follicles containing immature eggs may form. The ovaries may not work properly. Obese people typically have more severe PCOS signs and symptoms.

What Are the PCOS Causes?

Although the exact reason for PCOS is unknown, several factors are thought to play a role in its development. Some of the most common PCOS causes are as follows:

  1. Hormonal imbalances: Women with PCOS frequently have higher levels of androgens, female hormones that can interfere with ovulation and cause symptoms such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth) and acne.
  2. Insulin resistance: Insulin resistance is common in women with PCOS, which can result in high insulin levels in the blood. This can result in various symptoms such as weight gain, increased appetite, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Inflammation: Women with PCOS frequently have high levels of inflammation, which can disrupt ovulation and cause various symptoms.
  4. Genetics: There is evidence that PCOS can run in families, implying that the disorder may have a genetic component.

PCOS Diagnosis

PCOS is difficult to diagnose because no single test can detect the disorder. Instead, doctors diagnose PCOS using a combination of tests and symptoms. The following tests may be used to detect PCOS:

  • A doctor performs a physical exam to look for signs of PCOS, such as hirsutism, acne, and weight gain.
  • An ultrasound can be used to visualize the ovaries and detect cysts.
  • Blood tests can be used to detect insulin resistance and measure hormone levels.

Tips to Manage PCOS

PCOS management necessitates a comprehensive approach addressing the underlying causes and symptoms. Among the most effective PCOS management strategies are:

Changes in your lifestyle can help you manage your PCOS symptoms and improve your overall health. Eating healthy by making a PCOS diet plan, losing weight, and getting regular exercise are some lifestyle changes that can help.

Medications: Several medications, including birth control pills, insulin-sensitizing drugs, and anti-androgen medications, can be used to manage the symptoms of PCOS.

Supplements: Certain supplements, such as vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium, aid in the management of PCOS symptoms. Regular PCOS exercise can help manage symptoms of PCOS, including weight management and improvement in insulin sensitivity.

Surgery: Surgery to remove cysts on the ovaries may be required in severe cases.

Bottom Line

PCOS has no known cause, but there are evidence that genetic and environmental factors play a role in its development. Most PCOS symptoms are caused by an increase in androgen levels, resulting in a hormonal imbalance. Know more about the symptoms and causes of PCOS by connecting to a gynecologist hospital in Hyderabad and know its treatment as well.

Weight gain can exacerbate PCOS symptoms, so it is best to stay within a healthy weight range for your height. A high-dairy and carbohydrate diet is not advised, and you should avoid increasing testosterone levels any further. Aside from that, there is not much you can do to aggravate PCOS symptoms. If you have concerns about your PCOS or lifestyle habits, speak with your healthcare provider.

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