Table of Contents
PCOS Symptoms and Complications
The female reproductive system is a dense organ system that affects and is affected by other body systems. It comes with its pros and cons, pleasures and pains; PCOS pains that are often normal, more often abnormal, and sometimes unavoidable. Unfortunately, many women have to endure pcos signs and symptoms even after being too easily dismissed by the people who are actually meant to help them. Get to know the tips on how to relieve PCOS pain. But the body relays information in the form of signs and symptoms, therefore, it is important for you to pay close attention when it tells you something is wrong.
One condition to listen for is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS symptoms may show up at puberty or later in reproductive age. Studies show that PCOS affects 1 in every 10 women worldwide. The symptoms and complications are no doubt undesirable. But first, what exactly is PCOS?
In short, PCOS is a hormonal imbalance caused by dysfunctional ovaries. Unable to successfully release an egg, it hinders ovulation, leading to missing periods and disturbed hormone levels. The ovary produces increased amounts of androgens (male hormones) in women, which affects multiple body systems at once.
What Causes PCOS?
PCOS is an idiopathic disorder, there is no definite cause. Nevertheless, there are certain environmental and genetic factors that contribute to the progression of the syndrome:
- Family history
While PCOS is not a genetic disease, some genes determine the hormonal production in the body. The fore-mentioned causal factors lead to insulin resistance and abnormal hormone levels. You have a higher chance of developing PCOS symptoms if your mother has it too. So, how exactly does PCOS present itself?
PCOS Symptoms Checklists
Here is a pcos symptoms checklist of sorts. One needs to watch for pcos signs and symptoms:
Major signs of PCOS are:
- Irregular/missing periods (oligomenorrhea)
- Abnormal body and facial hair growth (hirsutism), pattern baldness, even hoarseness of voice, due to high testosterone levels.
- Polycystic enlarged ovaries, on ultrasound.
Other PCOS sign and symptoms include:
- Obesity/weight gain
- Acanthosis Nigricans. Darkened areas in skin folds around the neck, thighs, armpits, and groin.
- Mood swings
Do I have PCOS?
The ‘syndrome’ presents itself in a set of symptoms that can answer the common question “Do I have PCOS?” So, unless you have at least three or more symptoms including major signs, you probably do not have PCOS. Any one of the above-mentioned symptoms can be present idiopathically. Although if you suspect showing PCOS symptoms, it is essential to get properly diagnosed by a specialist OBGYN.
How is PCOS Diagnosed?
There is no ultimate diagnostic tool for exactly how to test for PCOS.. Symptoms like oligomenorrhea, hirsutism, and obesity are not considered until complications have developed, such as difficulty in conception.
The diagnosis is confirmed through the interpretation of multiple tests, such as ultrasound findings, pcos hormone levels by blood tests for increased levels of LH and testosterone, ovarian activity in response to certain drugs. An extensive differential diagnosis is performed to rule out other diseases.
It is important to know that the presence of cysts in an ovary is a normal finding. PCOS is only confirmed when there is clear hyperandrogenism and anovulation (absence of ovulation).
There is a high chance of coexistence as the two conditions are vastly interrelated. It can go either way, diabetes leading to PCOS, or PCOS leading to diabetes. High levels of insulin stimulate the ovaries to produce abnormal amounts of testosterone, ultimately leading to anovulation. Blood Sugar Complex might be of help to fight insulin resistance naturally. Women with PCOS mostly suffer decreased glucose tolerance with advancing age.
Complications of PCOS
- Subfertility or Infertility. Unsteady ovulation makes it difficult to conceive. In the case of anovulation, it becomes almost impossible.
- Pregnancy complications and high risk of miscarriage, owing to abnormal hormone levels. Even in successful childbirth, studies show that the offspring have a high risk of developmental deficiency.
- Endometrial cancer. A new endometrial layer forms in every menstrual cycle. Due to infrequent menstruation, the lining builds up abnormally, increasing the risk for endometrial cancer.
- Cardiovascular diseases. Obesity increases the risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular accidents on account of fat deposits/plaque build-up in blood vessels.
- Diabetic neuropathy. If left uncontrolled, diabetes inflicts harm to nerves, leading to peripheral neuropathy, affects eyesight (retinopathy), and deteriorated kidney function that is nephropathy.
- Sleep apnea. Although there is no direct relation, studies have shown that women with PCOS often suffer from sleep apnea and loud snoring. It also affects memory and mood due to disturbed sleeping.
- Mood disorders such as depression, delirium, and anxiety arise as a result of hormonal imbalance and PCOS symptoms such as man-like hair growth, obesity and baldness, and the social standards of beauty clash with the appearance of the person, insecurities develop and affect the person’s mental health.
- Fatigue. Sleep disturbance, insulin resistance, depressive mood, and undesired obesity all lead to exhaustion and lingering fatigue.
- Unrestricted sociosexuality. According to a study, unrestricted sociosexuality was reported to be consistent with hyperandrogenism symptoms, however, the sociocultural aspects of these findings were neglected, and need to be further investigated.
Alleviating PCOS, Balance Hormones, and Fight Insulin Resistance Naturally
No two women with PCOS show identical symptoms, and there is no definitive cure. Herbs and supplements may be of some help for PCOS and insulin resistance and hormone balance such as:
- chaste tree berry
- berberine supplement for women with PCOS
- progesterone challenge
It does not mean that you cannot seek help, as there are several ways to relieve the symptoms. It is crucial to consult a specialist for a plan of care most suitable to your unique set of PCOS symptoms. ZRT at home saliva hormone testing for pcos hormone levels such as testosterone, progesterone, estrogens (including estradiol) and cortisol levels is recommended for a self care, non invasive approach.