Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that affects hormones. It is one of the common hormonal disorders in women. It causes irregular periods, weight gain, acne, excessive hair growth and more. The exact reason for PCOS is unknown. But it is caused due to increasing levels of hormones, insulin and androgens. All women will not experience every symptom because the PCOS signs and symptoms differ. It can change during a woman’s life. Let’s look into the causes and signs of PCOS in detail:
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is an imbalance in the hormones caused by ovaries when it creates an excess of male hormones. The increased insulin level causes the ovaries to do this. It causes the ovaries to produce high levels of hormones called androgens. It results in an imbalance of hormones. As a result of which, they have an irregular menstrual cycle and missed cycles.
What causes PCOS?
The exact cause of the disorder is unknown, but genetics plays an important role. Also, due to increased hormone levels and lifestyle changes. The most common reasons are:
There is no single gene found to cause PCOS. Most women affected by PCOS are likely to get it from their immediate family. If any of the family members are affected by PCOS or type-2 diabetes, the chances are more.
- Hormone level
Imbalance in the body due to hormones, insulin and androgen causes the common PCOS signs and symptoms. It is due to increased levels of insulin in the body. Insulin plays an important role in maintaining your body’s glucose levels. It allows the glucose from the blood to pass into cells.
Most women with PCOS are insulin resistant, where the body cells stop responding to the insulin. Insulin resistance is due to genetics or lifestyle factors like being overweight or physical inactivity. It is one of the important causes of PCOS.
Androgens are male hormones present in both men and women. Women generally produce low amounts of androgens. But women affected with PCOS secrete more male hormones. It results in symptoms like excess hair growth, acne, irregular menstruation and hair loss.
What are the early signs?
PCOS symptom ranges from mild to severe ones. The common signs of PCOS include:
- Irregular menstruation
The high levels of male hormones and insulin causes irregular menstruation. Women with PCOS have their menstrual cycle lengthened, and in some cases, ovulation stops entirely or occurs only occasionally.
Women with PCOS have a high level of androgens and insulin, which affects their menstrual cycle. In some cases, ovulation can stop entirely or occur irregularly, which causes infertility. Not all women with PCOS have this; only a few.
- Hair and skin condition
The secretion of androgen results in excess hair growth. The hair grows darker in all parts of the body. It is known as hirsutism which affects most women. Acne is another common skin condition. Due to high levels of androgens, the oil secretion gets increased. It results in severe acne.
PCOS is a condition of hormonal imbalance which affects most women. Women with PCOS also have the risk of developing other disorders. If the hormone level gets controlled, it can reduce the symptoms. It is better to consult a physician to get the best treatment for PCOS.