Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women's ovaries, pituitary glands, and adrenal glands. Women afflicted with PCOS generally present with irregular menstrual cycles, excessive facial and body hair, and acne. Women with PCOS generally present with excess production of male hormones and insulins. Hyperandrogenism (excess male hormones) is considered the main characteristic of PCOS.

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

  1. Irregular periods: Insufficient ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month, resulting in irregular periods
  2. Heavier bleeding: The prolonged build-up of the uterine lining often results in heavier-than-usual periods
  3. Unwanted hair growth: About 70% of women with PCOS show signs of hirsutism, i.e., growth of excess facial and body hair, including on their back, belly, and chest
  4. Increased chances of acne: Androgens can cause the skin to break out, causing acne
  5. Unusual weight gain: PCOS accelerates weight gain dramatically
  6. Hair loss or baldness: Hair on the scalp may get thinner and fall
  7. Darkened skin patches: Dark patches of skin can form in various body creases
  8. Headaches: Hormonal changes can cause occasional headaches in some women

What causes Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

PCOS has no single known cause. Genetics may play a role. Additionally, PCOS is caused by higher levels of male hormones called androgens. High androgen levels impair the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation), which causes irregular menstruation.

Research in the past couple of decades has validated that defects in the insulin pathway are the major cause contributing to the pathogenesis of PCOS. A high insulin level causes the ovaries to produce and release male hormones (androgens).

Researchers have also found that women with PCOS suffer from low-grade inflammation, which stimulates the polycystic ovaries to produce androgens.

When should I see a doctor?

You should see your doctor if you have irregular or missed periods, symptoms such as weight gain, and unwanted hair growth on the face or body. You need to consult an expert if you have been unsuccessful in conceiving for more than 12 months or suffer from unexplained fluctuations in weight.

What are the risk factors for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

The risk factors associated with PCOS in women include type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. In 50%–70% of women with PCOS, insulin resistance results in diabetes, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension. Women with PCOS are also more likely to suffer from mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders, as well as binge eating disorders.

What are the possible complications associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with the following complications:


  • Infertility or difficulty conceiving
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriages or premature births
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep-related problems
  • Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or eating disorders
  • Unusual uterine bleeding
  • Endometrial cancer

Diagnosing and Treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

If you suffer from the symptoms of PCOS, your doctor may recommend the following tests to detect the condition:

  • A pelvic examination manually or visually detects any unusual growths or masses in the reproductive region
  • Blood tests to analyze hormone levels. Additionally, the doctor may recommend evaluating glucose tolerance, fasting cholesterol, and triglyceride levels
  • An ultrasound will help to detect any visible abnormalities and evaluate the thickness of the uterine lining
  • Additional tests may include screening for other disorders such as depression, anxiety, and sleep-related issues

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is treated with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes specific to individual concerns. Diet and exercise are normally recommended, as weight loss is known to improve the condition. Regulation of hormones and other contributing factors can be induced through medication and supplements.

If you are diagnosed with PCOS, plan frequent appointments with your doctor. Regular testing for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other complications will be necessary.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is not an uncommon condition among women of reproductive age. One can easily treat PCOS by combining lifestyle changes and managing hormone levels. With the correct medical guidance, all the troublesome symptoms of PCOS can be managed and eliminated.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Amritsar - Abadi Court Road. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Can Polycystic Ovary Syndrome cause difficulty in getting pregnant?

If not detected and treated in time, PCOS can cause infertility, difficulty in conceiving, and complications during pregnancy.

2. Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome treatable?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can be treated through multiple methods tailored to the symptoms and health problems of the individual woman.

3. Who can get PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome normally affects women once they start menstruating or hit puberty.

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