Pregnancy Concerns: What You Need to Know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Trying for a baby, as we know, is not as easy as it seems at times. If you have irregular periods, there’s a chance that you may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

What is it?
It is a hormonal condition, where there is an imbalance of a woman’s female sex hormones, resulting in an abnormal predominance of male hormones.

The exact cause of PCOS is not known at this point, though there are suspected genetic and environmental causes.

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Who is at risk of it?
It is a common condition that affects up to 15 per cent of women of reproductive age.

What are some of the symptoms?

  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Infertility and miscarriage
  • Acne
  • Excess body hair
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity and weight gain
  • Dandruff
  • Deepening of voice
  • Skin pigmentation around armpits, groin, neck and breasts
  • Elevated insulin levels and diabetes

What are the potential complications of the condition?
There will be difficulty conceiving due to infrequent ovulation or non-ovulation. There are possible complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and snoring in the long term is left undiagnosed. There is also an increased risk of cancer in the uterus.

What treatment options are there?
Though you cannot be completely cured of PCOS, the risks associated with it can be minimised with targeted treatment.

Lifestyle changes: Do regular exercise and make dietary changes to reduce/prevent weight gain.
Birth control pills: To stimulate a normal menstrual cycle and combat the extra male hormones
Fertility treatments: If the woman hopes to get pregnant, suitable treatments will be recommended.

Click here to learn more about other pregnancy and conception conditions that might be faced by women.

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