Awareness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is still relatively low, but this condition is thought to affect at least 1 in 5 women in the UK. As with many conditions that affect fertility, a lot of women will not be diagnosed with PCOS until they find they are having difficulties trying to conceive, especially if their symptoms are mild. In this scenario, education about the syndrome is key for early diagnosis and treatment.
What are Polycystic Ovaries?
Polycystic ovaries become enlarged and develop fluid-filled bubbles just below the surface, and contain eggs that have not fully developed. Most women with polycystic ovaries will not have any problems other than irregular periods. To be diagnosed with PCOS you must have polycystic ovaries, and also be experiencing one or more symptoms from the list below:
Unwanted facial/body hair (hirsutism)
Thinning hair/hair loss
What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a name given to a group of problems. In order to have PCOS you should have two of the following three – polycystic ovaries, an irregular menstrual cycle or an excess of male hormone. The symptoms of PCOS can vary greatly between women and include all of the symptoms listed above.
What causes PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with hormonal imbalances in the body, although the exact cause is unknown. It’s likely that there is a genetic link, as it tends to run in families (but not always). PCOS women will have higher than normal levels Insulin, which helps to control the level of sugar in the blood. PCOS women will be more likely to be resistant to Insulin, so the body produces high amounts of it to overcome this resistance. The high Insulin levels then lead to other hormone problems including high LH and Testosterone. Typically considered a male hormone, all women produce a small amount of Testosterone in their ovaries, but the majority of it is usually converted to Oestrogen. For women with PCOS, the amount of Testosterone produced tends to be higher and this rise in Testosterone can affect menstruation and ovulation.
What are the common signs and symptoms of PCOS?
Irregular periods – ovaries do not as regularly release eggs (the process of ovulation)
Higher levels of androgen (male hormones) – this may result in physical signs such as excess facial and/or body hair
Polycystic Ovaries – ovaries are enlarged and eggs are surrounded by fluid-filled sacs
Weight gain- can affect metabolism
How is PCOS treated?
There is no cure for PCOS, but you can manage the symptoms of PCOS. You and your doctor will work on a treatment plan based on your symptoms, your plans for having children, and your risk of long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Many women will need a combination of treatments.
If you have had a diagnosis of PCO or PCOS then the most important thing is not to worry. Although PCOS cannot be “cured’ most of the symptoms can be helped.
The first of the suggested treatment plans is usually lifestyle changes, especially if you are carrying excess weight. Excess fat in the body causes an increase in Insulin production, which can worsen the symptoms of PCOS. Therefore, losing weight can lead to a significant improvement in quality of life. While maintaining a healthy weight may not completely treat your symptoms, it can certainly be beneficial to your overall health and PCOS treatment.
There are also medical interventions available to treat PCOS, depending on your specific symptoms and your views on how you would like to be treated. No two PCOS women are alike.
Additional treatments include alternative therapies such as acupuncture. Many patients who have irregular cycles with their PCOS have worked with acupuncture practitioners to regulate their cycles. It may not be a treatment for everyone, but is another option that can be explored for treatment.
Here at Highgate Private Hospital, we have London’s leading Consultant Gynaecologists who will assess your individual symptoms and concerns and undertake any diagnostic tests needed to get to the bottom of what is causing the issue. An individual treatment plan will be tailored and agreed with you
Privacy & Cookies Policy
What are cookies?
Each website can send its own cookie to your browser if your browser’s preferences allow it, but (to protect your privacy) your browser only permits a website to access the cookies it has already sent to you, not the cookies sent to you by other sites. You can configure your browser to accept all cookies, reject all cookies, or notify you when a cookie is set.
The adiLP cookie is used to help track visitors who have multiple tabs open in the same browser to prevent errors in tracking.
This cookie is set by software from ResponseTap. The software provides website owners with the ability to link website visitor behaviour to telephone calls made to the company as the result of a visit, in order to understand the effectiveness of the website in encouraging calls from customers.
The adiV cookie contains an identifier which is used by AdInsight to track a visitor over time. This allows AdInsight to show multiple visits made by a customer over time from the same browser.
The adiVi cookie contains an identifier which is used by AdInsight to help track a visitor’s path while they are on the website.
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Non-necessary".
The cookie is set by Facebook to show relevant advertisments to the users and measure and improve the advertisements. The cookie also tracks the behavior of the user across the web on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.
General-purpose platform session cookies that are used to maintain users' state across page requests.
This cookie is used to a profile based on user's interest and display personalized ads to the users.
This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users' unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.
This cookie is set by WordPress. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the users' browser supports cookies.
This cookie is set by Facebook to deliver advertisement when they are on Facebook or a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising after visiting this website.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.
This cookie is installed by Google Universal Analytics to throttle the request rate to limit the collection of data on high traffic sites.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visited in an anonymous form.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.