A PCOS Tell-All

As the month of September comes to an end, number of events and webinars have managed to shed light on girls’ growing concern of PCOS.

According to PCOS Challenge Association “Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a serious genetic, hormone, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects women and girls”. PCOS, is a hormonal condition that girls suffer from mainly during their childbearing years.

This condition in some cases could affect their ability to conceive.

In the past 7 - 8 years the number of girls getting diagnosed with PCOS has increased significantly. 3 to 4 out of 10 girls suffer from PCOS and may not be entirely aware of it.

The awareness around the subject is yet to gain the necessary attention. For the same reason the month of September has been declared as the PCOS/D awareness month.

In regular scenario a woman’s body releases one egg from the ovary somewhere around the 15th day of menstruation. However, in case the female suffers from PCOS, the egg gets trapped inside the ovary and fluid accumulates around it, which later forms bubble-like structures called a cyst. Over the course of time many such cysts may form, which could eliminate the woman’s ability to reproduce.

PCOD/S is not curable as of yet, however one can either prevent it or control and manage it if diagnosed.

The symptoms of PCOS are often neglected and not too evident till the girl’s menstrual cycle becomes irregular and ultimately stops completely. Most girls get diagnosed only after they’ve skipped their period altogether for months at a stretch. that they realize that there could be a problem.

The symptoms could be more than one and not necessarily visible and noticeable at the beginning. Some of the more prominent and well documented symptoms are irregular menstruation cycle, acne, weight gain, unwanted hair growth on parts of the body which previously did not grow hair, excessive hair loss from the scalp and a blackish appearance on the neck.

PCOS is called a lifestyle disorder because it may be caused due to the girl’s daily routine and emotional wellbeing. The most common cause identified is unhealthy eating of junk food with higher Glycemic Index Number (GI number). GI number is the rate at which the body converts food into glucose. In addition to the food intake, lack of daily exercise and physical activity and high stress levels could be an additional cause. In many cases lack of sleep along with the afore mentioned causes may lead to PCOS.

Family tendencies should also be closely monitored. In case a woman from the family is suffering from PCOS there is a higher tendency that her sister, daughter or relative could also develop PCOS mainly due to similar lifestyle habits.

Many medical professionals have stated that the easiest way to reverse the cycle of PCOS is –

1. To get at least an hours’ worth of exercise in a day

2. A diet that is rich in proteins and cuts down on sugars and carbohydrates.

3. Minimum of eight-hours of sleep every night is also essential in maintaining a healthy body, especially in the long run.

However easy it may sound; it hardly ever is. Many women suffer with the fear and anxiety of not being able to conceive which further takes a toll on their mental health and affects their physical wellbeing.

Many girls are shy and fearful to even tell their mothers about the problems and may completely lose confidence and self-esteem seeing their bodily changes.

Awareness around the subject is extremely important as it may lead to further discussions and make young stronger to deal with the problem.

As the month of September ends becoming successful with number of events, webinars and informative sessions being conducted by various organizations working for the awareness for PCOS, let’s not limit the discussion to a month but continue our fight to make fearless, motivated and strong with deal with any challenge that comes their way.

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