How does PCOS Affect Women's Health?
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a hormonal problem caused in women during their 20s to 40s i.e. childbearing years. This may cause infertility and in some cases, it leads to irregular periods, acne problems, hypertension, diabetes, and other health problems.
Key Facts on PCOS
According to gynecologists analyzing PCOS effects, it is a syndrome i.e. group of symptoms to affects the ovulation and ovaries. PCOS has three main features, which are-
- Presence of cysts in women’s ovaries
- High levels of DHEA-S hormones
- Skipped or irregular periods
PCOS causes the growth of many small sacs filled with fluid inside ovaries. The word polycystic indicates multiple cysts. The sacs refer to follicles and each follicle has immature eggs. These eggs do not mature for triggering ovulation.
The lack of ovulation leads to alteration in hormone levels, like progesterone, LH, FSH, and estrogen than usual. In contrast, the problem causes an increase in androgen levels than usual. Additional male hormone disrupts the female’s menstrual cycle and women get fewer periods than usual.
Wonderize as a leading manufacturer of sanitary pads aims to empower the women of today with necessary information related to periods and the related disorders. In this blog, let’s shed the light on PCOS, why it happens and what are its symptoms.
SIGNIFICANT SIGNS OF PCOS
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding is one of the common PCOS symptoms in affected women. Accordingly, females experience big swings in their menstrual cycle with frequent periods and heavy bleeding.
Irregular and Skipping of Periods
A few women suffering from PCOS may have irregular periods or periods may come after three or four months.
Difficulty in Getting Pregnant
When you do not have a regular period, you may face difficulty in getting pregnant. Hence, infertility is one of the common PCOS symptoms in women.
Weight Gain or Obesity
Approximately half of the women with PCOS face the problem of weight gain or experience a hard time shedding extra pounds. PCOS forces you to gain excessive weight and obesity makes the condition severe.
Feeling Tired or Difficulty in Sleeping
You may often face difficulty in sleeping or feel tired. A few individuals have the condition of sleep apnea. Accordingly, you never feel properly rested after waking up even when you sleep.
Headache and Body Pain
PCOS leads to many surging hormones, which further cause body pain and headache.
Growth of Hair in Unwanted Areas
Many times, doctors call the condition of unwanted hair growth as hirsutism. Accordingly, PCOS patients may have unwanted hair growing on their chin or face, stomach, breasts, toes, or thumbs.
PCOS women may have thin hair on their heads, which may become worse during their middle age group.
You may see dark, thick, and velvety skin patches below your breasts or arms, in the groin area, and on the back of the neck. Doctors refer to this condition as acanthosis nigricans.
Oily Skin or Acne
Hormonal changes from PCOS cause pimples and oily skin. A few women have acne problems as well.
EFFECTS OF PCOS ON WOMEN
When the androgen levels increase, it affects different aspects of your health, including the condition of fertility. Accordingly, the common PCOS effects are-
Women have to ovulate to conceive or get pregnant. In contrast, women who fail to ovulate regularly cannot release the minimum number of eggs needed for fertilization. PCOS affects ovulation and hence, it forms the prime cause of women’s infertility.
Approximately 70 to 80 percent of women suffering from PCOS are obese. Obesity increases the risk related to high blood pressure or hypertension, high blood sugar or diabetes, low good or HDL cholesterol, and high bad or LDL cholesterol. When the respective metabolic syndromes combine, they increase the risk related to cardiac arrest, stroke, and many other heart problems.
Sleep apnea causes repeated breathing pauses during the nighttime, which further interrupts one’s sleep. The problem is common in PCOS and overweight women. Even the risk of sleep apnea increases in obese women who have PCOS.
Endometrial cancer is one of the severe PCOS effects in women. We know that ovulation causes shedding of the uterine lining. Indeed, when a woman does not ovulate monthly, the lining may build up. Hence, a thick uterine lining increases the risk related to endometrial cancer.
Both hormonal changes and related symptoms including unwanted growth of hair affect one’s emotions negatively. Many women with PCOS experience depression and anxiety eventually.
As a matter of fact,
PCOS may affect the overall health of women in many ways. Several lifestyle changes can make you feel better. The greatest way to do this is through diet and exercise. And still, if it doesn't get cured, avoid leading to its adverse effects and undergo treatment from gynecologists timely.