There is no doubt that motherhood is a beautiful dream that every woman seeks after marriage, but its realization may be delayed for one reason or another. Therefore, she is looking in various ways for the reason for delaying pregnancy and treating it, and the reason may be that she suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, then the treatment journey begins.
The symptoms of PCOS were first described by the Italian physician Antonio Vallisteri in 1721. It is a common hormonal imbalance that affects 15% approximately of women of childbearing age (14-45 years).
This imbalance leads to irregular menstruation and makes pregnancy difficult, as well as causes excessive hair growth on the face and body, or leads to long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
Let's get to know in the next few lines about PCOS, its relationship to pregnancy, its causes, and everything you want to know about it.
What is PCOS?
It is a hormonal imbalance that has many symptoms, affecting the ovaries and ovulation, including:
-Cysts in the ovaries.
-High levels of the male hormone.
There is no doubt that a woman's ovaries are the reproductive organ responsible for the production of estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. It also produces small amounts of androgen (male hormone).
Also, stimulating hormone (FSH) and hormone (LH) control the ovulation process, as they stimulate the ovary to release a mature egg suitable for fertilization.
Inside the ovaries, several tiny fluid-filled sacs expand in PCOS.. The eggs are not mature enough to stimulate ovulation.
Lack of ovulation causes both estrogen and progesterone to drop to lower than normal levels, with an increase in androgen (male hormone) levels. This increase leads to disruption of the menstrual cycle; therefore, the menstrual periods of women with PCOS are less than normal.
Causes of PCOS
Doctors don't know the main cause of PCOS. But they believe that high levels of male hormones prevent the ovaries from producing hormones and producing eggs normally. Doctors also believe that there are several reasons that may lead to polycystic ovaries, which are:
Studies show that genes play a role in the development of PCOS, and it is possible that many genes, not just one, contribute to the condition.
It affects about 70% of women with PCOS, which means that their cells do not make good use of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to help the body store glucose inside cells for energy. Insulin resistance arises from the pancreas producing large amounts of insulin, as a result of cells not responding to it.
Excess insulin in the body causes the ovaries to produce more male hormones.
Obesity is a major cause of insulin resistance, and obesity and insulin resistance increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Affected women often have high levels of inflammation in their bodies, and studies have indicated a relationship between excess inflammation in the body and an increase in male hormones (androgens).
Common symptoms of polycystic ovaries
Some women may start seeing symptoms early, while others discover they are infected after they gain a lot of weight or have trouble conceiving.
The most common symptoms of PCOS are:
Lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding each month, so affected women have fewer than 8 menstrual cycles per year.
The lining of the uterus builds up longer than usual, so when you get your period, you have unusually heavy bleeding.
Excess hair grows on the face and body, as well as the abdomen and chest, and this condition is called (hirsutism), and it affects more than 70% of women with cysts.
Excess male hormones can cause the skin to be more oily than usual, so it may cause pimples to appear on some areas of the body, such as the face and chest.
More than 80% of women with cysts are overweight or obese.
Hair loss is caused by an excess of the androgen hormone.
-Dark spots on the skin
Dark patches of skin develop in the folds of some parts of the body, such as the neck, groin, and under the breasts.
Hormonal fluctuations in some women might cause headaches.
What are the side effects of PCOS?
High androgen levels above the normal range affect women’s health in several ways, including:
There is no doubt that you must ovulate in order for pregnancy to occur, so women who do not produce eggs regularly, cannot become pregnant and get a fertilized egg, so the cyst is one of the main causes of infertility in women.
The metabolic syndrome of obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome increases the risk of developing high blood sugar, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, and high bad cholesterol (LDL). Together, these factors called metabolic syndrome, increase the risk of disease Heart, diabetes, and stroke.
The cyst increases the chances of sleep apnea interrupting sleep and is more common in women who are overweight, and the risk is 5 to 10 times higher for obese women with cysts than for obese women without cysts.
The thickening of the uterine lining that develops during a cyst increases the risk of uterine cancer.
Hormonal changes and their symptoms, such as hair growth, affect the feelings of women with cysts, causing them to become depressed and anxious.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
Doctors recognize a cyst in women who have at least two of these three symptoms:
-High levels of androgens.
-The presence of cysts in the ovary.
There are also some other examinations and tests that the doctor recommends, including:
Blood tests determine the range of male hormone levels, as well as levels of cholesterol, insulin, and triglycerides, all of which help the doctor evaluate the condition.
They are used to look for abnormal follicles or other problems in the ovaries and uterus.
Pregnancy and PCOS
About 70-80% of women with cysts have problems conceiving, which may increase the risk of complications during pregnancy or premature birth, and they are also more likely to have miscarriages and gestational diabetes.
But affected women can get pregnant using fertility treatments (which improve ovulation), lose weight, and lower blood sugar levels.
What is the cure?
Many common medical treatments work to regulate the menstrual cycle and treat polycystic ovaries, which are:
Taking birth control pills containing estrogen and progestin daily can restore normal hormonal balance, regulate ovulation and relieve symptoms such as excessive hair growth, and protect against endometrial cancer. These medications may be either pills, a patch, or a vaginal ring.
It is a medication used to treat diabetes, and it treats cysts by improving insulin levels. Studies have indicated that taking metformin with a change of diet and exercise helps lose weight, lowers blood sugar, and restores the menstrual cycle to normal.
Clomiphene or Clomid, a fertility drug, helps affected women become pregnant but may increase the risk of twins being born.
-Hair Removal Treatments
Some treatments and creams help get rid of excess hair or prevent it from growing, and laser or electrolysis can also remove hair.
-Surgery (ovarian drilling)
If other therapies fail, surgery may be used to help boost fertility, a procedure that creates tiny holes in the ovary using a laser or a thin needle to restore normal ovulation.
How does diet affect the treatment of PCOS?
Eating healthy foods and avoiding some processed foods helps control cyst symptoms, regulate hormones and your menstrual cycle. Here are some tips to improve your diet, which are:
-Eat whole foods
They are foods free from sugars and preservatives and are represented in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, also legumes.
-Balance between carbohydrates and protein:
Both carbohydrates and protein affect hormones and energy. It is best to follow diets that rely on a balance between protein and carbohydrates, as protein stimulates insulin production, and foods high in carbohydrates and fiber improve insulin sensitivity.
The best sources of plant protein are nuts, legumes and whole grains.
-Eat anti-inflammatory foods
PCOS is described as chronic, low-level inflammation, so adding anti-inflammatory foods can help relieve symptoms.
A Mediterranean diet that contains fatty fish such as mackerel and tuna, nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives also helps reduce inflammation.
-Increase iron intake
Iron intake treats anemia or iron deficiency, caused by severe bleeding that occurs in women with cysts, and the doctor may recommend adding iron-rich foods such as spinach, eggs, and broccoli to your diet.
-Increase your magnesium intake
Almonds, cashews, spinach, and bananas are PCOS-friendly foods, as they are rich in magnesium.
-Add fiber to your diet
Fiber may help improve digestion. Examples of high-fiber foods include lentils, beans, broccoli, pears, and avocados.
-Avoid drinking coffee
Caffeine consumption may be associated with changes in estrogen levels, so try to boost your energy with caffeine-free alternatives, such as herbal tea. If you can't do without caffeine, consider green tea, It has been shown to improve insulin resistance and weight loss.
-Eating soy products
Soy acts like estrogen in the body, so it may help balance hormones, but people with a family history of estrogen-related cancers such as some types of breast cancer should avoid soy products.
Do supplements help in treatment?
Some supplements help regulate hormones and insulin resistance, as well as treat infections associated with PCOS, but talk to your doctor first before taking any supplement. It may interfere with other cystic medicine treatments and medications, and these natural supplements and alternatives include:
It is a B vitamin that helps improve insulin resistance and some fertility conditions.
Chromium supplementation improves BMI, which may help with treatment.
Cinnamon extract has been shown to have a positive effect on insulin resistance and the regulation of the menstrual cycle of affected women.
Turmeric reduces insulin resistance and inflammation.
Zinc can be obtained from eating red meat, beans and seafood.
-Evening Primrose Oil
It relieves menstrual pain and improves cholesterol levels.
-Combination of Vitamin D and Calcium
Vitamin D insufficiency is frequent among PCOS women, so taking vitamin D and calcium may improve irregular periods and help with ovulation.
-Cod liver oil
Cod liver oil contains vitamins A and D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids that may help improve your menstrual cycle.
They are herbs used in Chinese medicine to help with insulin resistance and balance the body's endocrine responses.
There are also herbs that treat polycystic ovaries, relieve symptoms, and balance hormones in the body, such as Maca root.
Finally, my dear, when you suffer from PCOS, you have to reduce your weight, exercise and sleep well, and also reduce stress so that you can overcome this disease, and this is in addition to consulting a doctor in the appropriate treatment for you.