Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the number one hormonal disorder for women typically between the ages of 15-44.
    In the United States, as many as 5 million women in their reproductive years may be affected.
    Although PCOS is hard to diagnose because their is no individual test used to detect the disorder; 3 main dysfunctions typically exists.  
    1.  High levels of androgens (male hormones) are presence in the body.  
    2.  Irregular of missed periods.
    3.  Many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) in their ovaries
    Women with polycystic ovary syndrome usually have a sister or mother with it as well.
    In addition to making too much androgen, women with PCOS usually have higher than normal levels of insulin.
    Insulin breaks down sugar, starches, and other foods and converts them into energy for the body to use or store.   
    According to womenshealth.gov, many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because they have problems using it. Excess insulin appears to increase production of androgen.
    And, high levels of androgen (as those known in PCOS cases) can lead to:

    1. Acne
    2. Excessive hair growth
    3. Weight gain
    4. Problems with ovulation

    Symptoms of PCOS:

    * Infertility and difficulty ovulating
    * Infrequent, absent, and/or irregular menstrual cycles
    * Cysts on ovaries
    * Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
    * Weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
    * Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
    * Thinning hair or male-pattern baldness
    * Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick and dark brown or black

    Diagnosis Process:

    1. Medical History Evaluation– the doctor will ask you about your menstrual cycles, weight gain/loss, family history, and other related questions.
    2. Physical Exam– the doctor will measure your blood pressure, weight and waist size. As well as check for excessive hair growth. It is advised not to shave a few days prior to the exam.
    3. Pelvic Exam– the doctor will check to see if the ovaries are swollen or enlarged.
    4. Blood Test– the doctor will check for the androgen hormone and blood sugar levels.
    5. Vaginal Ultrasound (sonogram)– the doctor will take pictures of the pelvic region.


    Treatment for PCOS:

    PCOS has to be managed to treat the symptoms, because there is no cure for the disorder itself. Some women need a combination of treatments to meet their individual needs.
    1. Diet and exercise–  Limit processed and sugary foods, and add more whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to your diet. Also, exercise at least 30-minutes daily.
    2. Birth Control Pill–  Birth control helps to reduce male hormone levels, control menstrual cycles, and helps to clear acne.
    3. Diabetes medicationsMetformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, helps with PCOS symptoms by controlling the way insulin controls sugar levels, and by lowering testosterone production. Metformin also slows the abnormal hair growth, and in some cases it helps to regulate ovulation. Other positive effects of Metformin have been noted, such as decreased body mass and lower cholesterol levels. Flutamide is another drug that exhibits similar symptoms as Metformin.
    4. Fertility medications– Fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation help women with PCOS to become pregnant.
    5. Surgery– Ovarian laparoscopy (drilling) can sometimes increase the chances of ovulation.
    6. Medicine for increased hair growth or extra male hormones- Spironolactone and Finasteride help to reduce extra male hormones and hair growth in women.

    For more information on treatments for PCOS symptoms contact Cosmetic and Laser Specialists at: http://morebeautifulthanever.com/.

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