Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance disease that occurs in women of reproductive age.
Its exact cause is unknown, but a combination of factors contributes to the development of the syndrome: genetic predisposition, obesity, androgen excess, insulin resistance, and others.
The clinical manifestation of the disease often coincides with the first menstrual cycle, it may start even later.
For diagnostics, at least 2 of the above symptoms must be present:
- Irregular cycle. Problems getting pregnant.
- High level of androgens – which causes thinning of the face and body – hirsutism, acne.
- Police ovaries. The ovaries are enlarged, several large follicles are developed, however, the process of ovulation (follicle rupture and egg release) is delayed.
Symptoms are particularly acute in individuals with obesity.
As we mentioned, the exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown, although there are factors contributing to its development:
- insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Cells absorb sugar through it. When cells become resistant to insulin, blood sugar levels rise. To balance this, the pancreas increases insulin production. Excess insulin stimulates the production of male hormones - androgens, which is followed by ovulation disorders. A sign of insulin resistance is weight gain, increased appetite, dark spots on the natural wrinkles of the body and neck.
- Low-grade inflammation. White blood cells - Leukocytes release inflammatory mediators in response to injury or infection. This is called low grade inflammation. Studies have shown that in PCOS there is prolonged low-grade inflammation, which also stimulates an increase in androgens. This is eventually complicated by heart and blood vessel diseases.
- inheritance. It has been confirmed that specific genes are associated with the development of polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Excess of androgens. In polycystic ovary syndrome, the ovaries produce excess androgens, which inhibits ovulation, causes hirsutism, and other problems.
- Gestational diabetes and pregnancy-associated hypertension
- spontaneous abortion
- Premature birth
- Fatty liver, non-alcoholic (steatohepatitis)
- Metabolic syndrome – arterial hypertension, hyperglycemia, increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Depression, anxiety, eating disorders
- Endometrial tumors
Obesity usually accompanies polycystic ovary syndrome and aggravates clinical manifestations. Most of the symptoms are due to androgen excess and hormonal imbalance.
Almost half of women with polycystic ovary syndrome have no symptoms at all, except for infertility.
Metabolic syndrome associated with the syndrome increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arterial hypertension, hyperlipidemia and other pathological conditions.
Management of polycystic ovary syndrome depends on symptoms and other factors.
Both a healthy diet and physical activity, as well as medication when needed, are recommended to manage insulin resistance and obesity.
Hormone therapy to control androgens also helps regulate the cycle and treat hair loss and acne.
When to consult a doctor
All these indications require specialist consultation, diagnostics and proper treatment.
"Synevo" laboratory offers diagnostic tests for polycystic ovary syndrome and related conditions:
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