Polycystic ovarian syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition of unknown cause. It is associated with problems such as irregular (usually less frequent) menstrual cycles, excessive hair growth, acne, obesity, infertility and the possible development of diabetes .Treatment for PCOS depends on the associated problems and can include life style modification with diet, exercise and weight reduction, hormones or – in some cases – an operation.

Diagnosis

PCOS is usually diagnosed based on the woman’s history and an examination. It may be confirmed by ultrasound and by measuring hormone levels in the blood. Early diagnosis is important, as it will allow symptoms to be managed and may prevent long term health problems from developing.

Treating PCOS

The treatment for PCOS will depend on the problems the woman has. For example, if the woman is suffering from irregular, heavy periods, the oral contraceptive pill is often prescribed to regulate the cycle and prevent the lining of the womb from overgrowing. Weight loss is very important, as it will reduce the risk of diabetes developing and can reduce other symptoms. An operation called ovarian drilling can be used to treat women with PCOS who want to become pregnant and are not ovulating. Metformin is now being suggested as initial therapy for women with polycystic ovary syndrome whose condition does not respond to lifestyle measures, ahead of traditional hormonally active agents, for amelioration of hirsutism and for the restoration of regular menses and ovulation

Pregnancy in PCOS

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have recently been shown to have an increased prevalence of gestational diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance during pregnancy and should therefore have a glucose tolerance test early in pregnancy and again at 26 to 28 weeks.

Support group

Polycystic ovary syndrome association of Australia Inc – main.posaa.asn.au