PCOS Symptoms in Women

PCOS, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal disorder where a woman’s ovaries fail to release an egg due to the accumulation of follicles. These follicles are fluid and they begin to form a cluster called cysts. Hence, PCOS affected women have fluid filled ovaries. The symptoms of PCOS in women are quite negligible. Most women don’t realize what causes PCOS in women. Sometimes the cyst bursts in the ovaries and causes excruciating pain. Symptoms of PCOS in women will be listed afterwards. Sometimes PCOS remains un-diagnosed due to the fact that not many women are aware of this syndrome. Therefore, they mistake the symptoms for hormonal fluctuations and puberty. PCOS symptoms in older women go unnoticed due to their lack of self care. They might consider absence of periods and excess facial hair growth as menopause, although it could be PCOS.

pcos symptoms in women

PCOS and Hormonal Imbalance:

A woman’s ovary is her reproductive organ that produces eggs. Many hormones are involved in the entire process. In particular, the hormones involved are; estrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). You must keep in mind that each hormone is related to the other and fluctuation in any of them will subsequently affect all others. For instance, the estrogen hormone triggers the release of LH. Hence if the estrogen hormone is imbalanced, LH will be affected and the whole menstrual cycle will be affected. 

On the other hand, there’s a male hormone which is produced in a woman’s body in small amounts, called androgen. The symptoms of PCOS include a higher level of androgen production. Androgen will prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg. Moreover, it will cause physical PCOS symptoms in women, such as excess hair growth and cystic acne. 

pcos symptoms in older women

 Symptoms Of PCOS In Women: 

Irregular Periods:

Either your periods will be completely absent or they will occur for prolonged periods. Missed, early or late periods is what causes PCOS in women. This indicates that your menstrual cycle is disturbed. Or there is a certain hormonal imbalance.

Excess Hair Growth:

You’ll notice an appearance of excess facial hair known as hirsutism. This is due to the release of abnormal amounts of androgen, male hormone.
Acne: Moreover, cystic acne can appear on your face or on your chest and back. Your skin becomes excessively oilier. 

Weight Gain:

You’ll begin to gain weight abnormally. An excess of fat gets accumulated in your abdominal area. Since there is an excess of androgen, which is a male hormone. The weight gain also occurs in such a manner. Usually men tend to accumulate more fat in the abdomen. Therefore, the same occurs to women who have more male hormone in their body.

symptoms of pcos in women

Hair Loss:

Particularly referred as male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. This hair loss pattern mainly affects men as they age. The scalp thins down causing hair loss. However, since the female body in this case has an excess of androgen hormone. They are affected by the same pattern of hair loss. 

Acanthosis Nigricans:

You might notice patches of dark skin appear on your body. This is due to higher levels of insulin. Acanthosis nigricans can be commonly spotted on the neck area, under arms and in the groin area. 

Mood Swings:

Since your body is undergoing destructive hormonal imbalance, your mood swings can be even worse than normal. However, depression and anxiety are a common symptom of PCOS in women. 

Sleep Apnea:

Most PCOS affected women tend to have abnormal sleep schedules. Sleep apnea is when there is an issue with your breathing. It can periodically stop and start and might make you snore, casuing unrest. Due to this you’ll not be able to get proper sleep. 

What Causes PCOS In Women?:

There is no solid answer to what causes PCOS in women, however, a few factors might be influencing this disorder. 

Hereditary:

Although there is no gene involved in this. There is a complicated linkage among women with a history of Type-II diabetes might have this syndrome. On the other hand, daughters might inherit this from their mothers or aunts. 

Insulin Resistance:

Insulin hormone is required to digest carbohydrates and helps body store glucose for future use. However, insulin resistance is when the body doesn’t respond to the insulin hormone properly. This leads to diabetes and obesity. But obesity is not common among all such women.

Inflammation:

Inflammation is the mechanism our body’ white blood cells use in order to protect you from infection. PCOS can cause inflammation in the body. Hence, this causes excess androgen production. This can damage the heart and blood vessels.

Hormonal Imbalance:

An excess production of androgen hormone in the body causes facial hair and cystic acne.

Metabolic Syndrome

Other Complications:

PCOS diagnosed women tend to face more problems than a normal woman. They’re more sensitive to things and even the environment. Food affects them differently. Moreover, their body functions on an absolute different level than a normal body. Other complications that these women face are listed below. PCOS symptoms in women are easy to ignore. Moreover, the following complications can be confused with other diseases.

Trouble Getting Pregnant:

Since the cysts can form during the entire menstrual cycle. And are basically the indisposed follicles. There are chances it might put you at a risk of infertility. There are many types of cysts; follicle cysts and corpus luteum cysts to name a few. This causes complications in release of the egg. Corpus luteum cysts can even cause changes in the ovary. This can produce excruciating pain.
However, all these complications in your 28 day menstrual cycle can make you infertile. When the egg and the ovary are not healthy, it is possible that the sperm won’t be able to properly fertilize it.

Metabolic Syndrome:

PCOS can put you at risk for insulin resistance, obesity, dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of diseases that can occur simultaneously. These diseases put you at a risk of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke. These diseases include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, fat accumulates in the abdominal area. In addition to that, cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood become abnormal.

Endometrial Cancer: 

Since hormonal imbalance leads to abnormal amounts of hormones. Particularly, excessive amounts of estrogen and androgen (male hormone) and lower levels of progesterone. This causes abnormalities in your normal menstrual cycle. As a result there is a lack of periods, causing the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to thicken. Eventually, this might lead to a precancerous endometrial hyperplasia.

pcos symptoms in women

Care Is Better Than Cure:

It is important that women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome must alter their lifestyle in order to manage and maintain a healthy body. Women who are not diagnosed must check for PCOS symptoms in women. It is quite difficult for such women to take control of their bodies but here are a few things that must be done:
1. Always keep track of your periods whether or not you’re diagnosed with PCOS.
2. Maintain a healthy weight to prevent complications.
3. Cut off unhealthy carbohydrates and processed foods from your diet.
4. Remain active for at least 30 minutes a day.

Women must get regular health check-ups. If you believe you are at a risk of developing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, consult a gynecologist. You must get blood tests and ultrasounds to ensure. Moreover, maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent all such diseases.

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