Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), also known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome or sclerocysticum is an endocrine (hormonal) disorder in which the ovaries are enlarged and contain many small vesicles filled with fluid. PCOS – a fairly common disease. Polycystic occurs when the ovaries to produce excess male hormones (androgens), which are normally produced in very small quantities.
During each menstrual cycle in the ovaries formed a number of small follicles (bubbles) of which may subsequently come out the egg. Normally, in the middle of the menstrual cycle, during ovulation (rupture of the follicle), one egg leaves one of the follicles (any ovary), and the other follicles become overripe and stop working. With PCOS, the egg is not matured and ovulation does not occur. Follicles are not broken, and filled with a liquid and turn into cysts. Accordingly, the ovaries may increase in size, becoming more normal by 2-5 times.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, often manifested masculine traits such as excessive hair growth on the face and body, acne, baldness and occipital abdominal fat (fat is stored around the waist).
There is no consensus among doctors still do not. However it is known that the disease associated with tissue insensitivity to insulin (hormone involved in the regulation of blood sugar levels). Recent studies suggest that the ovaries of women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, in excess produce male sex hormones, because the body can not properly process the insulin. The level of insulin in the blood is so high that the ovaries react to it excessive production of male sex hormones.
Symptoms may occur at any age. May develop during puberty, and then the menstrual period may be delayed or never arrive. Girls are overweight and have a hair growth in male pattern, for example, chest and face. Also they can be disrupted menstrual cycle, and menstrual bleeding to be heavy enough.
Every woman’s symptoms may be slightly different, but usually there are some or all of the following symptoms:
– Excessive hair growth on the face, chest and abdomen;
– Absence or irregular menstrual bleeding
– Bleeding from the uterus;
– High blood pressure,
– Obesity in the waist;
– Thin hair and male pattern baldness;
As we have already mentioned, polycystic ovary syndrome is accompanied by symptoms of diabetes, such as completeness or increased urination, vaginal thrush (candidiasis) or chronic skin infections.
Polycystic ovaries seen on ultrasound, but not always. About 20% of women (not yet passed through the menopause), with no symptoms of polycystic as such by ultrasound detected polycystic ovaries.
Stein-Leventhal syndrome may increase the likelihood of developing certain diseases. Therefore, it is important to have regular medical checkups. Even if some of the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome partly disappear after menopause, a certain time may occur various diseases.
Type 2 diabetes. By the time they reach menopause around 50% of women with sclerocysticum diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is important to maintain the right to pre-launch lifestyle and follow a healthy diet.
Elevated cholesterol. Elevated levels of testosterone can cause high levels of LDL (the “bad” form of cholesterol) in your body, which eventually leads to an increased risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Endometrial cancer. Because women with PCOS do not ovulate often, they have periods during which the endometrium is too built up. This may increase the risk of cancer of the uterus, although precise data on this phenomenon yet.
What you can do?
The doctor may advise to give up smoking to try to normalize insulin levels and maintain normal cholesterol levels. It is also very important to losing weight and maintaining good physical fitness, in themselves, these measures help some women with PCOS to realize the desire to get pregnant.
What can a doctor?
Your doctor will need to evaluate symptoms, based on the data in your medical record, and a general examination. If you suggest polycystic ovary syndrome, the doctor will prescribe appropriate tests to confirm it and rule out other possible diseases.
The required inspection: ultrasound (shows a general view of your ovaries), blood tests, the overall level of male sex hormones, insulin, glucose, cholesterol, or luteinizing hormone.
Although polycystic ovary syndrome can not be cured, though some of the symptoms can be kept under control. Treatment will depend on your set of symptoms, how badly they appear, and your relationship to get pregnant.
You can write a progestogen (a synthetic analogue of the female sex hormone progesterone) or contraceptives to induce regular menstrual cycles.
Some contraceptives with low concentration of active ingredients, commonly available contain a small amount of an estrogen and an anti-androgen (a substance that blocks the effects of male sex hormones) cyproterone acetate. This helps to effectively control excessive hair growth and acne. Cyproterone acetate is available in and of itself, and your doctor may advise you to this or any other anti-androgen, spironolactone, acting in a similar way. With excessive hair growth can be controlled simultaneously with the help of medication and epilation procedures. Your doctor will choose the method best for you.
Isotretinoin is used if there are abundant acne. This drug reduces the amount of skin sebaceous secretions and reduces the number of skin glands producing them. Because of the side effects of this drug may be prescribed only by qualified physician. It is contraindicated in pregnant and planning to become pregnant, as there is a danger of damage to the child.
Also, you may be prescribed medications such as metformin, helping the body to properly use the insulin produced by them. These drugs help reduce body weight and a decrease in blood pressure in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome, and sometimes can recover the menstrual cycle. Moreover, it allows to control excessive hair growth caused by increased testosterone levels.
Using all of these drugs, you should be aware that their effect is not immediate. Also note that if the medicines to reduce hair growth, inefficient, you will have to use other methods, such as laser hair removal, electrolysis or wax.
Infertility treatment may involve the use of drugs such as clomiphene citrate, stimulates growth of ovarian follicles and eggs forming the middle of the menstrual cycle or injection of synthetic hormones similar to those which naturally produces your body.
Treatment by surgery
As an infertility treatment, your doctor may offer you a surgical procedure – laparoscopy. It uses either a red-hot needle or a laser beam to burn the ovary in several places. This procedure can stimulate ovulation and increase your chances of getting pregnant.