6 things you should know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Maria Fernanda
5 min read

Surely, in your circle of friends there is always the girl who has hormonal problems, body hair in areas not common in women or problems with menstruation. So perhaps it is a Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

6 things you should know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Wellness and Health
Polycystic ovary syndrome

Believe it or not, 1 out of 10 women suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), as it is one of the most common endocrinopathies in women of childbearing age.

So, learn 7 things you should know about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

In the first place, it is a gynecological pathology, for this reason, multiple organizations in the health field have defined it according to the fulfillment of certain criteria.

This means that a woman with PCOS cannot be classified solely by the presence of certain symptoms, since it is a medical diagnosis. In this sense, the criteria used to date are the Rotterdam criteria.

In addition to the above, a woman who meets two of the following three criteria is defined as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

· Oligovulation, anovulation, or both.

Clinical, biochemical, or both hyperandrogenism.

· Polycystic ovarian disease.

Quiet! You will soon understand what some terms mean. Now, for all these criteria to be valid, it is important that the woman does not suffer from another disease that explains the origin of these symptoms.

What happens in the body of a woman with PCOS?

Since you know what PCOS is, you will be able to understand a little better what happens in a woman's body. Basically, the body normally releases a series of hormones that regulate the function of a specific structure.

In the case of the female reproductive system, there is a system called the hypothalamic — pituitary — ovary axis. The hypothalamus and pituitary are structures located in the brain. The hypothalamus releases a hormone that stimulates the pituitary.

Subsequently, the pituitary gland releases two hormones, the stimulating follicle and the luteinizing one. In addition, each one has a specific function in the ovary. This is what happens in a normal state.

6 things you should know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Wellness and Health

However, in PCOS there is an excessive production of luteinizing hormone, its main function being the production of androgens, that is, male hormone. In addition, there is a deficit of other enzymes that transform androgens into female hormones.

In short, there is an excess of male hormones in PCOS, called hyperandrogenism. Nor does an adequate development of the follicles occur in the ovary, therefore, ovulation does not occur.

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

In relation to the above, you will be able to understand the reason for the symptoms suffered by a woman with PCOS. The symptoms are.

• Acne.

• Hirsutism.

• Menstrual disorder.

• Insulin resistance.

• Dry Skin.

The main manifestations of PCOS are caused by the excessive presence of androgens. Precisely, androgens cause hair to grow in areas that depend on them and, which is not normal for women.

So, this growth of thick hair on the chin, chin, chest region, groin and arms, is known by the name of hirsutism. At the same time, androgens are responsible for the appearance of acne. Typically, women with PCOS have dry, acne-riddled skin.

Additionally, as you are not ovulating, the production of progesterone cannot occur and, if this does not happen, the endometrium cannot "come off", therefore, you do not menstruate.

Finally, for reasons that are not known, this disease causes insulin resistance. What this means is that your body has to release more insulin so that the sugar can enter the cells. As a result, you are at higher risk for diabetes.

Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The diagnosis is in charge of a specialist in gynecology, since it is the power to carry out a follow-up once you start the treatment. Furthermore, the diagnosis is made with the fulfillment of the Rotterdam criteria.

6 things you should know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Wellness and Health

Here you have to make a parenthesis, since this diagnosis is not made only with ultrasound, so many women, due to the simple fact that they have cysts in the ovaries, already think they have PCOS, when the truth is that they do not.

Remember, the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is not made only with an ultrasound that reports such cysts.

Polycystic Ovarian Disease or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Very well! This point is related to the previous one because it is vital that you understand that cysts in the ovaries are not the same as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Know what their differences are.

· Polycystic ovaries are of gynecological origin. That is, there is no hormonal alteration. On the contrary, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome has an endocrine origin because there is an alteration of the hypothalamic — pituitary — ovary axis.

· Polycystic ovarian syndrome is confirmed by tests of hormones in the blood, while cysts in the ovaries by ultrasound.

In addition to this, polycystic ovarian disease is present in 30% of women and does not merit treatment because they do not generate symptoms.

Treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The treatment of PCOS depends on whether the woman wants a pregnancy or not. So, if at the moment you do not want a pregnancy, the treatment consists of reducing the cysts, regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing insulin resistance.

In general, menstrual dysfunction, like hirsutism, is treated with combined oral contraceptives. In this sense, those combined with antiandrogenic progesterone such as cyproterone acetate plus estradiol are preferred.

On the other hand, to treat insulin resistance, hypoglycemic drugs are used, the most used is metformin. Reassessment depends on each patient, but is usually within 3 months.

On the other hand, if the woman wishes for a pregnancy, first the symptoms are regulated with the same treatment and, later if it does not work, the ovulation inducers can be used.