PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome; the silent cause of infertility in women

PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome; the silent cause of infertility in women

Over the years, women's health, in general, had been an issue especially during the early stages of adulthood.

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Women's reproductive health had been greatly affected by all kinds of diseases especially if childbirth or pregnancy takes a long time.

One of those very popular ailments associated with women was and is still fibroid, non-cancerous growth of the uterus, which mostly appears during childbearing years.

Many women who have fibroids don't have any symptoms and those that do, the symptoms can be influenced by the location, size, and a number of fibroids.

The most common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, menstrual periods lasting more than a week, pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination, etc.

Aside from fibroids being a very problematic health condition when it comes to women's reproductive health, another health condition that is rearing its head is the PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, popularly called the PCOS.

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PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome; the silent cause of infertility in women
PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome; the silent cause of infertility in women Photo credit: medical xpress
Source: UGC

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The name polycystic ovary syndrome describes the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries.

PCOS is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens,( male sex hormones) that are usually present in women in small amounts.

Causes

PCOS is recorded in women between the ages of 18 and 44 and affects approximately 2% to 20% of this age group depending on how it is defined.

It is interesting to note that, the exact cause of the PCOS is unknown, as many women with PCOS have insulin resistance, which means their bodies cannot use insulin well.

According to a report by John Hopkins Medicine, PCOS may also run in families, as it may be common for sisters or a mother and daughter to have PCOS.

The report indicated that an individual whose mother or sister has PCOS may be more likely to have it.

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High insulin resistance or obesity could cause a woman in her reproductive range to be diagnosed of the polycystic ovarian syndrome

When someone is infertile due to lack of ovulation, PCOS is the most common cause and could guide to patients' diagnosis.

Complications

This disorder which happens to be a longterm one, comes with very severe complications that may mar a woman's reproductive life for good if not treated on time.

PCOS' complications include an increased risk of endometrial cancer(Cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus (endometrium). This causes vaginal bleeding after menopause or frequent bleeding between the menstrual cycles.)

The worst complication that comes with PCOS is infertility.

However, early treatment of polycystic ovary disease can help prevent infertility or increase the chance of having a healthy pregnancy.

Since most people Obesity-related conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes

PCOS could also come with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders

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Medication

Just like every other medical condition that is diagnosed, medications are prescribed to help clear, fight or better still suppress the ailment. People diagnosed of PCOS over the years have been taking these medications.

Metformin

Metformin is often prescribed for women living with PCOS to help prevent diabetes.

This medication is mostly taken by people who have diabetes.

Birth Control Pills

These birth control pills are often used as a treatment for PCOS. The main diagnostic part of PCOS is hyperandrogenism, which is having too many androgens, or male sex hormones.

Combined hormonal contraceptives have proven to a large extent to help reduce the production of androgens as well as reduce the risk of metabolic disorders associated with PCOS.

Anti-androgen

Spironolactone is the most common anti-androgen drug used for women with PCOS. It is a potassium-sparing diuretic, usually prescribed for treating edema (excess fluid) or high blood pressure. It is also an aldosterone antogonist.

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Lifestyle change

Aside from medication, a lifestyle that includes healthy nutrition and daily exercise is the most important part of a PCOS treatment plan.

Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease

Oftentimes, obese women diagnosed with PCOS are advised to adopt an exercise routine or a much healthier lifestyle to help them lose weight.

In addition to working out, being on a diet that is healthy and devoid of complex carbohydrates are

Personal experience

Speaking to YEN.com.gh, 29-year-old Ama (not her real name) said she recently was diagnosed with PCOS after several tests and treatments for wrong conditions.

According to her, she realized at the age of 25, she had irregular menstrual periods, as she would have her periods at two weeks intervals.

She added that, unlike others who were overweight and obese when diagnosed with PCOS, she was skinnier as compared to them.

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Ama added that after the irregular menses, her periods ceased to appear for over 2 years and that it was when it actually hit her to go for a proper prognosis at a healthcare facility.

Ama said her biggest fear was that she would not be able to have children of her own as per her own personal research on google.

Luckily for her, two years after paying attention to her diet per advice and medications prescribed to her, she was able to carry her child to term and put to bed a healthy baby girl.

Ama however advised young ladies especially the overweight or obese and those with issues with regards to their menstrual periods to take a trip to the hospital to be sure they are perfectly okay.

Medical advice

Speaking to a senior nurse with the Ghana Health Service, Ivy Agbodjan, she mentioned that PCOS has become one of the most diagnoses four in ten women get when they visit the facility.

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According to her, this leads a lot of women who are diagnosed with such into depressive episodes especially when the condition is not identified and treated early.

Miss Agbojan said when most women who have advanced PCOS are told they do cannot have children again due to their condition, they turn to sulk and thus becoming very sad and depressed.

She however encouraged women within the child bearing years who are obese and have irregular mensturation coupled with other reproductive ailments to rush to the hospitals to seek prompt medical attention.

Source: Yen Ghana

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