Polycystic Ovary (Ovarian) Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder. Sometimes PCOS is described as an ‘endocrine’ disorder, it’s the same thing. Overseas research suggests its affects between 5 and 10% of all women of childbearing age regardless of race or nationality.
PCOS symptoms usually present themselves during puberty but may also begin in the early to mid 20s. Certain symptoms are life-long, others will cease at menopause. The cysts are tiny. Using an ultrasound, they look like black dots on an ovary. These cysts are eggs that have failed to properly mature and release from the ovary.
Syndrome means this is a condition that has a number of diagnostic symptoms with no simple hard and fast diagnostic test. Each woman presents with a different number of symptoms and together they make PCOS. It’s rare that two women share exactly the same symptoms.
Not all women with PCOS have difficulty becoming pregnant. For those who do infrequent ovulation is a common cause. Other factors include change levels of gonadotropins, hyperandrogenemia and hyperinsulinemia. Like women without PCOS, women with PCOS who are ovulating may be infertile due to other causes, such as tubal blockages due to a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
Though surgery is not commonly performed, the polycystic ovaries can be treated with a laparoscopic procedure called "ovarian drilling" (puncture of 4–10 small follicles with electrocautery, laser, or biopsy needles), which often results in either resumption of spontaneous ovulations or ovulations after adjuvant treatment with clomiphene or FSH. (Ovarian wedge resection is no longer used as much due to complications such as adhesions and the presence of frequently effective medications.) There are, however, concerns about the long-term effects of ovarian drilling on ovarian function.
The following is a list of some of the possible symptoms : -
In addition, women with PCOS appear to be at increased risk of developing the following health problems during their lives : -
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