PCOS is an unfortunate term because the word “ovarian” appears in the name of this syndrome. For years, many people automatically assumed that it is purely an ovarian disease. We now recognize that it is in fact, a systemic endocrine and metabolic disorder. Multiple factors are at work. It should really be called the “Poly-Cystic Ovary/Excess Androgen Production /Adrenal Hyperplasia / Insulin Resistant / Hyperpipidemic / Often Overweight / Anovulatory /Hirsute / Sometimes Acne” Syndrome.
PCOS is a total body endocrine disease. It is unfortunate and confusing that the word “Ovary” appears in the name. The abnormalities in the ovary are really more the result of the problem – not the cause.
The problem is further complicated by the fact that there is really no universal definition of PCOS even though most endocrinologists would agree on a set of criteria necessary to make the diagnosis. If there is one absolute that is necessary to make the diagnosis of PCOS, it is the complete or almost complete lack of ovulation. Women who are ovulating regularly on their own, cannot, by definition, have PCOS. There are however Reproductive Endocrinologists who feel that women who have all the features of PCOS except for the fact that they ovulate may have a subset of the syndrome. However, these women are much less likely to be insulin resistant.
The other criteria that must be satisfied is that the women have either clinical or laboratory evidence of increased androgen (male hormone) production, either facial hair and/or acne. Laboratory confirmation is important because women from certain ethnic groups such as Oriental, Hispanic, or Native American may show very little clinical evidence of increased androgen production even in the face of significantly elevated blood levels.
PCOS is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
PCOS is the most common hormonal problem in women. It is also a metabolic disorder that affects several body systems and cause significant long-tern health consequences. PCOS is often characterized by enlarges ovaries, with multiple small painless cysts or follicles that form in the ovary. Two other key features of PCOS are production of excess androgens (male sex hormones) and an-ovulation (the failure to ovulate properly), which makes PCOS the leading cause of infertility.
– Hypertension (high blood pressure)
2. Ask your doctor to check the following: blood sugar, insulin, hormone levels, cholesterol levels, leutenising hormone (LH), progesterone blood test 7 days before your expected menstrual cycle, prolactin levels, and have them do a pelvic ultrasound to check for cysts. You will also want them to check other glands and your thyroid to make sure it isn’t something else that can cause some of the same symptoms.