OsteoBlog: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), is a condition where follicles develop in the ovaries.
As a result of this, a hormone imbalance occurs, leading to an increase in the male hormone testosterone being produced.
Consequently, the change in hormone production can affect how the body ovulates and can cause irregularity of a woman’s cycle.
It has been reported that polycystic ovary syndrome affects 5-20% of women of reproductive age (Azziz et al, 2016).
The NHS suggests the three main features of PCOS are
1. Irregular Periods
2. Excess Androgens (male hormones)
3. Polycystic Ovaries
The Ovaries have a role in production of oestrogen and progesterone, they also produce a small amount of male hormones, for this reason the ovaries can affect hormone levels.
Ovulation is controlled by the hormones follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Therefore, the irregular periods are a result of a lack of ovulation and altered levels of oestrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH and an increase level of male hormones.
The cause of PCOS is unknown but several factors have been found to contribute to the condition:
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Its main function is to control blood sugar levels. It also acts on the ovaries to release testosterone. Individuals suffering from PCOS can become resistant to insulin. As a result, the body produces more insulin to main blood sugar levels. A high level of insulin and testosterone interferes with the normal development of follicles leading to a problem with ovulation.
Hormone imbalance -
A number of women have been found to have an imbalance in certain hormones in the body.
It has been suggested there may be a genetic link and a number of studies have been shown that PCOS can run in the family.
The symptoms of polycystic ovaries:
Irregular periods or no periods
Difficulty with fertility
Increase in hair growth in areas over the body.
Increase in weight
Thinning of hair or hair loss.
Oily skin or acne.
Lack of energy
Problems with sleeping
Risks later on in life:
Developing type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels
During your consultation your GP will ask you questions about your symptoms.
They may also carry out tests such a blood tests to check your hormone levels and see if there is an excess hormone production caused by PCOS or other conditions related to changes in hormone levels.
You may also be referred for an ultrasound scan to observe your ovaries.
There is no cure for PCOS however the symptoms can be managed by making lifestyle changes such as - becoming active, eating healthy and losing weight.
There are medications available to help with some symptoms experienced.
Below, are some links to informative websites that may offer more information.
If you are in any doubt about the cause of your pain please see your GP asap.
The earlier you go, the better the outcome for any cause of symptoms.
Thanks for reading.
For osteopathy in High Wycombe and beyond please call Lucy or Ebony from OsteoFusion on 07833 321604 or visit www.osteofusion.co.uk