Millions of women worldwide suffer from PCOS, a complicated hormonal imbalance that is one of the most widespread hormonal disorders in the world. According to the World Health Organisation, PCOS affects 8-13% of women in reproductive age, and among them, 70% of cases are untreated.
Young women’s daily routines and eating habits have gotten out of hand due to sedentary lifestyles, a lack of exercise, and hectic work-from home schedules, which has led to obesity and, in turn, PCOS. A recent estimate suggests that around 1 in every 7 women in the age bracket of 12-45 years are affected with PCOS.
What is PCOS?-
Small millimeter sized cysts develop in the ovaries as a result of PCOS, which causes the ovaries to grow larger. The abnormal hormones are subsequently It leads to an increase in androgens, or male hormones, which are produced in place of the usual female hormones. Hirsutism, or excessive hair growth on the face, chest, and back, acne, hair loss on the scalp, infertility, and atypical menstrual cycles ranging from rare, sparse menses to heavy or irregular periods, are all caused by this hormonal imbalance.
PCOS puts women and young girls at risk for early pregnancy losses, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke later in life. Additionally, the aberrant hormonal state raises the risk of developing ovarian, breast, and uterine cancer. Not only it affects them physically but the problem manifests itself in the body mentally too. Due to the abnormal hormones being released, there is an increase in weight which leads to a loss of self esteem and in some cases body shaming by peers. It causes stress and anxiety attacks to women suffering from infertility. The toll it takes on those afflicted physically and psychologically cannot be overstated.
Diagnosis And Treatment –
Upon noticing symptoms like excess hair growth, abdominal weight gain, abnormal period cycles one should think of visiting a gynecologist at the earliest.
The method if diagnosis may depend from person to person and may include blood tests to check hormone levels, pelvic examination and ultrasounds to check size of ovaries or a physical examination of symptoms.
While there is no single and permanent cure to PCOS, in order to manage it one must start following a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet. Diet should include good fats and protein, leafy vegetables and limited intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed food. Exercise is also a must. A 30-minute brisk walk or exercises like yoga, if incorporated into the daily regime can do wonders. Women having PCOS should not go on crash diets and instead they should focus on a healthy weight loss. Even losing 5-10% of their body weight would put them on the right track. Meditation is also a good option if one faces anxiety and stress.