Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that generally occurs with adolescent girls and young women during their childbearing years (ages 15 – 44). It occurs due to an excess of androgen, a male hormone, in female body.
The symptoms of PCOS include irregular menstrual cycle, excessive facial and body hair, acne etc. Besides, weight gains, lower abdominal pain, darkening of skin around neck or armpit, infertility are also common.
Women with PCOS tend to catch type-2 diabetes, heart diseases and obesity easily. It also increases risks of mental imbalance and uterus cancer.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a result of genetic disorder and environmental problem. Gaining weight suddenly during adolescence, less physical activities and intake of excessive calories intensify the risks.
The cysts can be of different size and number. The hormonal irregularities can be diagnosed through blood test. Insulin resistance along with high blood cholesterol is common in most cases.
Food management is important at the beginning of treatment. A regulated calorie intake along with weight loss measurement is crucial. Also, the insulin resistance has to be controlled for preventing diabetes.
The diet should include vegetables (except potato), fruits and protein-rich items. Regular exercise and low dosage birth control pill with an estrogen and progesterone combination may require.
Metformin for treating insulin resistance along with hair removing creams and medicines for increasing reproduction power may be undertaken.
*Shahjada Selim is an assistant professor of endocrinology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU). This piece originally published in Prothom Alo print edition has been rewritten in English by Faria Islam.