PCOS Demystified: Understanding Symptoms and Diagnosis

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects millions of women. Despite its prevalence, PCOS can be a confusing and overwhelming condition to navigate. Here, we will demystify PCOS by shedding light on its symptoms and diagnosis, empowering you to take control of your health.

Understanding PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a complex hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries. Although the name suggests the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries, these cysts alone are not sufficient to confirm a PCOS diagnosis. The condition encompasses a spectrum of other symptoms and hormonal irregularities.

Common Symptoms of PCOS

Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Women with PCOS often experience irregular or absent menstruation (periods) due to hormonal imbalances.

Excess Androgen Production: Elevated levels of androgens, which are male hormones, are common in PCOS and can manifest as acne, excess facial and body hair (hirsutism) and male-pattern baldness.

Polycystic Ovaries: While not universal, the presence of ovarian cysts can serve as a diagnostic indicator for PCOS.

Insulin Resistance: Many women with PCOS develop insulin resistance, which may lead to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Fertility Issues: PCOS is a leading cause of infertility in women due to irregular ovulation or anovulation (lack of ovulation).

Causes of PCOS

The cause of PCOS is not yet known, but it is believed to run in families. The symptoms are a result of abnormal hormone levels.

Testosterone is a hormone produced in small amounts by the ovaries. Women with PCOS have slightly higher than normal levels of testosterone which is associated with many of the symptoms.

Insulin is a hormone that controls the level of glucose in the blood. If you have PCOS, your body may not respond to insulin (known as insulin resistance), so the blood glucose levels rise. The body produces more insulin to prevent the blood glucose levels from becoming higher. High levels of insulin cause weight gain, irregular periods, fertility problems and higher levels of testosterone.

Diagnosis of PCOS

Women with PCOS often have symptoms that come and go, particularly if they experience a consistent change in their body weight. This can make PCOS a difficult condition to diagnose.

A diagnosis is made when you have any two of the following:

  • Irregular/infrequent periods or no periods at all
  • An increase in facial or body hair and/or blood tests that show higher testosterone levels than normal
  • Ultrasound showing polycystic ovaries

Managing PCOS

If you suspect you have PCOS or have already been diagnosed, taking control of your health is crucial. Managing PCOS involves a multifaceted approach, including lifestyle changes, medication and ongoing monitoring.

  • Lifestyle: Adopting a balanced diet can help manage insulin resistance and weight gain.
  • Regular Exercise: Staying physically active can improve insulin sensitivity and overall well-being.
  • Stress reduction: Mindfulness techniques can help balance hormones and alleviate symptoms.
  • Medications: Hormonal contraceptives, insulin-sensitising medications and fertility treatments may be prescribed as needed.

As women, it’s essential to prioritise our health, including being proactive about preventive care. Regular health checkups are invaluable for early detection and management of conditions like PCOS.

To take charge of your well-being, you can now schedule your preventive health checkup with Aster Clinics starting at AED 99 only.

PCOS is a manageable condition and understanding its symptoms and diagnosis is the first step toward effective management. Your well-being matters and taking action today can lead to a brighter and healthier tomorrow.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.