Do I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS is a range of symptoms caused by an increase in hormone (estrogen and progesterone) imbalance in women. When one hormone is out of balance then another is triggered to be out of balance. The ovaries are stimulated to grow small cysts and release male hormones called androgens known as testosterone. Also, there is an increase in insulin levels in the blood, but the body has difficulty using it, and that is call resistance.  This causes the body’s blood sugars to go up and may result in diabetes.

Symptoms include irregular or no periods, heavy periods, increase in body and facial hair, acne, thinning hair on the scalp, pelvic pain, difficulty getting pregnant, patches of thick, dark skin, and metabolic syndrome, elevated insulin and insulin resistance.

Causes have been attributed to genetic and environmental but are mostly unknown. Risks include obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and family history.

Treatment- There is no cure, but methods to provide relief to sufferers include,

  1. Involves lifestyle changes- weight loss and exercise. Eating healthier foods. To lower insulin resistance
  2. Birth Control- regulates periods, reduce hair growth, and acne
  3. Metformin helps ovulation to become more normal
  4. Restoration of Fertility- need to see a fertility specialist

Complications include increased risk for: endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer, insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, Depression/Anxiety, dyslipidemia(a disorder of lipid metabolism), cholesterol and triglyceride levels, heart disease of the arteries of the heart, stroke, weight gain, miscarriage, non-alcoholic fatty liver, and patches of dark skin under arms, groin,and back of neck.

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Author: onesmartnurse

I am a Registered Nurse since 2/1992. I have a Master's Degree in Nursing with a specialty in Nursing Education. I have worked in homes, hospitals, and outpatient clinics. I have worked in medical and surgical units, ICU, ED, Pediatrics, Prenatal Care, Immunization services, mammogram services, tuberculosis services. I was the coordinator of an Adolescent HIV Program, as well as an Adult HIV program. I have also worked as a clinical nurse instructor, and was a travel nurse.

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