Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a very common hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive ages across the world. If a woman does not have her periods too often or has them for many days, she is at risk of having PCOS. She may also experience weight changes, excess hair growth or hair fall and acne.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a problem that affects a woman’s ovaries. The ovaries produce hormones like estrogen and progesterone that regulate the menstrual cycle; there is also the production of small amounts of male hormones called androgens. The ovaries also release mature eggs each month as part of a process called ovulation.

The three main features of PCOS include:

  • Cysts in the ovaries
  • High levels of male hormones
  • Irregular menstrual cycle

PCOS results in the formation of small, fluid-filled sacs inside the ovaries, referred to as “polycystic”, meaning many cysts. These sacs contain immature eggs that never mature enough to trigger ovulation. The lack of ovulation results in hormonal imbalance, producing higher than usual androgen levels.

What causes it?

The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Doctors believe that high androgen levels prevent the ovaries from releasing mature eggs. However, certain factors associated with excess androgen production are as follows:

  • Genetics: It has been observed that PCOS runs in families. 20-40% of women have a family history of PCOS.
  • Insulin resistance: Around 70% of women with PCOS suffer from insulin resistance. It means their cells can’t use insulin properly, which increases the body’s demand for insulin. Thus, the pancreas produces more insulin causing the ovaries to release more male hormones.
  • Inflammation: Women with PCOS usually have increased levels of inflammation that lead to ovaries producing more androgens.

Common symptoms of PCOS

PCOS can affect your body in several ways due to hormonal imbalances. Each individual can experience a different set of symptoms. The most common symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods: Anyone experiencing inconsistent, delayed or lengthy periods with heavy bleeding should get diagnosed with PCOS.
  • Excess hair growth: Women with PCOS can also grow hair on their face, back, chest or belly. This condition is called hirsutism.
  • Obesity: The most evident symptom of PCOS is becoming overweight or obese.

If the condition of PCOS is not brought under control, the excess androgen levels can cause serious problems, such as infertility, high blood pressure, high sugar level, diabetes, heart disease and depression in women.

When should I see a doctor?

The earlier the symptoms of PCOS are diagnosed and managed, the better it is for the patient. If you’re concerned about your period cycles or have any of the above symptoms, you should consider visiting a doctor. A doctor may ask you for blood tests, ultrasound or pelvic exam to diagnose the condition. After confirming the diagnosis, the doctor will decide the right course of action that needs to be taken. A timely diagnosis can save you from a lot of trouble. You can consult the best doctors at Apollo Fertility, Amritsar. Do not hesitate to book an appointment online or give us a call whenever you feel the need to.


As already mentioned, there’s no cure for PCOS. However, certain treatments can help in dealing with the problem.

  • Lifestyle changes

Doctors recommend a low-fat and carbohydrate diet with moderate exercise to reduce weight. Even a slight weight reduction can improve the condition. Weight reduction can also enhance the effectiveness of medications being taken for PCOS. Thus, a proper weight loss plan can go a long way in managing PCOS.

  • Medication

Your healthcare provider can prescribe medicines to regulate periods, limit excess hair growth or improve acne and help you ovulate to get pregnant. However, starting medication is a choice that you should make only after consulting an experienced doctor. If lifestyle changes and minor treatments can help, you need not go for regular medication.

If any woman starts experiencing the common symptoms of PCOS, there’s no need to panic. Visit a doctor as soon as possible and start treatment before the symptoms worsen. At Apollo Fertility, we understand your concerns. Contact our specialized and experienced doctors to find solutions for your specific problems.

1. How can one identify if she is suffering from PCOS?

Irregular menstrual cycle, excessive hair growth, weight gain, oily skin or acne and difficulty in getting pregnant are common signs of PCOS.

2. Can a person get rid of PCOS?

Unfortunately, PCOS cannot be cured. However, people can adopt varying treatment options depending on the symptoms they have been experiencing.

3. What is the main cause of PCOS?

The exact cause is not known, but an excess of male hormones in the body is a major factor contributing to it.

4. Can PCOS be cured by losing weight?

No, but losing weight can help in regulating hormone levels, which can manage the symptoms to a great extent.

5. At what age does PCOS start?

There is no fixed age for it. It usually begins after the first period but can also develop in the 20s or 30s.

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