On the occasion of World Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness Day this Wednesday, September 1, it is about talking about the various discoveries that have been made about PCOS. This syndrome suffers from a cruel lack of information, in the medical sector as in patients who suffer from it. PCOS, which generates too many masculinizing hormones, androgens, yet affects one in ten women in the world. Here are 5 things to know about this syndrome.
1 – Various symptoms
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal dysfunction in which small cells in the ovaries called “microfollicles”, are blocked in their maturation and produce too many androgens. In too large a quantity, this male hormone is believed to be at the origin of PCOS. In reality, it is therefore several follicles and not “cysts” strictly speaking, as the name of the syndrome suggests.
The symptoms associated with this anomaly are varied. The most common are the absence or irregularity of the rules, hirsutism (an excess of hair in supposedly masculine places such as the cheeks, upper lip, chin), acne, overweight even obesity, hair loss or even difficulties in giving birth.
2 – Possible causes of PCOS
Doctors cite possible causes of PCOS such as a high level of insulin in the body, excess weight and hyperandrogenism. Often, the syndrome affects several women from the same family. The family history would then be one of the many causes of PCOS.
The main manifestation of the syndrome arises in the female body since birth. However, the first signs in a woman cannot be detected until puberty, and diagnosis can take several years. Most of the patients consults around 17 or 18, when they notice that they do not have periods or very irregular cycles, as well as an increase in hairiness.
3 – Various possible treatments
S ‘PCOS cannot be completely cured, it is partly reversible. This is why we are talking about syndrome and not disease. Various treatments can regulate hormones and relieve certain symptoms. Most of the time, the contraceptive pill is prohibited because it does not change the underlying PCOS and the latter reappears when the take is stopped.
The main prescribed measure is to change some daily habits to prevent more serious health problems. Losing weight, playing sports and reducing sugar are just some of them. This allows the body to regulate your hormonal cycles, and contributes greatly to calm symptoms such as hirsutism, menstrual irregularity or fertility disorders.
To fight against hair loss, another symptom, there are certain shampoos and conditioners. For acne, there are oral contraceptives and antiandrogens. Also, taking antihyperglycemic drugs can help the patient to control your blood sugar. Finally, women who suffer from infertility can turn to ovulation inducers, or to surgical interventions more extensive.
4 – SPOK does not always cause infertility
While it is certain that this syndrome causes infertility in some women, not all with the syndrome will have difficulty giving birth. Patients with PCOS suffer from ” infertility »: Unpredictable ovulation, and therefore less chance of getting pregnant. However, this form of sterility is reversible. With appropriate treatment, it is possible to promote ovulation and thus increase the chances of getting pregnant.
In an interview for Le Monde, the endocrinologist Michel Pugeat explains that 90% of patients end up having children, with or without medical help. He adds :
“That we observe an improvement in fertility as the patient approaches the age of menopause. It is quite paradoxical: there are fewer follicles but, on the other hand, there are also less androgens in the ovary. This could allow easier maturation of the follicles. “
5 – There is a cruel lack of knowledge
Polycystic ovary syndrome is very complex, and slow to diagnose. It suffers from a lack of consistent and practical information. Indeed, it would take an average of five consultations before a diagnosis is made for a PCOS.
“We should do more communication around this syndrome with young girls and ensure better training of professionals, in particular treating physicians”, explains endocrinologist Michel Pugeat.
Patients also have difficulty understanding what they are suffering from. Fortunately, some associations make it possible to compensate for the lack of information and to circulate more appropriate information to patients. In addition, the medical community is increasingly interested in the syndrome, especially because it is associated with the risk of overweight, diabetes and, ultimately, disease cardiovascular.
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