Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Understanding the Symptoms and Management

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is characterised by disturbances in the menstrual cycle, including irregular or absent menstruation, as well as the presence of biochemical or clinical hyperandrogenemia, which can lead to symptoms such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth), acne, and male-pattern hair loss. Additionally, polycystic ovary morphology is often observed on gynaecological ultrasound. These symptoms are often accompanied by ovulation problems and other metabolic abnormalities.

Women with PCOS commonly experience challenges related to weight gain and insulin resistance. The long-term consequences of this syndrome may include the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, central obesity, cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of endometrial hyperplasia and endometrial malignancy.

To diagnose PCOS, it is essential to rule out other endocrinological causes, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, hyperprolactinaemia, and androgen-secreting tumors, as well as hyperandrogenemia induced by medications.

Both genetic and environmental factors are believed to contribute to the development of PCOS.

The diagnostic process involves a comprehensive medical history assessment, gynaecological examination, transvaginal ultrasound of the internal genital organs, and various haematological and hormonal tests. Based on the test results, the appropriate course of treatment is determined, which may involve hormonal or antidiabetic medications, as well as specific dietary instructions and lifestyle modifications.

It is important for women with PCOS to work closely with their healthcare provider to manage the symptoms effectively and minimise the long-term health risks associated with the syndrome.

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