Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. PCOS is a common cause of infertility that affects 15-25 per cent of females in the reproductive age group, and the age of onset is often 16 years. PCOS is multiple fluid-filled sacs (follicles) in the ovaries, appearing like beads. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have irregular menstruation, chronic lack of ovulation (release of the egg from the ovaries), and excess “male hormone” levels called androgens.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF PCOS?
The following are possible causes.
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Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells do not respond to the effects of insulin, which causes blood glucose levels to increase. Insulin resistance can lead to diabetes mellitus.
High androgen levels (male hormones), although all women make small amounts of androgen. High androgen levels also cause unwanted hair growth and acne in many women with PCOS.
Irregular ovulation can lead to infertility and, in some women, to develop numerous fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries.
Toxins in the diet and the environment are endocrine disruptors that can affect the ovaries’ hormonal regulation, leading to PCOS.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
-Irregular menstrual periods- women with PCOS may have infrequent periods or fewer periods (fewer than eight in a year) or periods that occur too frequently, i.e., every 21 days or less, or stop having menstrual periods.
-Anovulation-lack of the release of eggs from the ovary, which leads to infertility.
-Hirsutism -excessive hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, and upper thighs
-Acne on the face, chest, and upper back.
-Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath the breasts. It is called Acanthosis nigricans
-Multiple tiny fluid-filled sacs (follicles) in the ovaries
HOW DOES PCOS AFFECT FERTILITY?
The eggs may not develop in the ovaries or be released from the ovaries. Without ovulation, conception cannot occur.
HOW IS PCOS DIAGNOSED?
PCOS is characterised by irregular menses, hyperandrogenism (hirsutism- excess hairy growth on the body and face), and a pelvic ultrasound examination that shows large ovaries with small follicles arranged on the surface like beads.
TREATMENT: There are three approaches to the treatment of PCOS. Treatment is always individualised, i.e., tailored to each woman according to symptoms, other health problems, and desired pregnancy. The approaches are lifestyle modification, medications, and surgery.
LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION: It involves diet change and exercise. These modifications encourage weight loss and have effectively restored ovulation and achieving pregnancy, especially in obese women with PCOS.
Diet change-Women with PCOS should eat foods that are high in fiber (potatoes, avocados), high in omega three fatty acids (fish), and high in protein (nuts, beans, lentils). They should avoid refined carbohydrates such as sodas and sweets. Also, they can eat iron-rich foods such as eggs and broccoli should be taken, and magnesium-rich foods such as bananas, almonds, and cashews. They should avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee as this can cause changes in hormone levels.
Exercise-Moderate intensity exercises such as cycling, brisk walking, swimming, and light aerobics are encouraged. This activity increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, aids weight loss, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
MEDICATIONS: medications are for high glucose levels, hirsutism, and irregular menstrual periods. We recommend the following supplements:
Supplements such as omega 3, inositol, zinc, chromium, and Vitamin D are encouraged. Inositol can help improve insulin resistance. Chromium helps the body metabolise sugar.
Other available medications are according to the doctor’s prescription.
TREATMENT AT MART-LIFE DETOX CLINIC
At Mart-life Detox Clinic, Maryland, the approach to managing PCOS involves dietary changes, appropriate use of supplements, and complementary medical therapies. The treatment aims to rid the body of identified environmental toxins, which significantly contribute to infertility. Some toxins, collectively known as endocrine distributors, cause infertility in the woman and constitute fertility problems for unborn children and grandchildren. During a customised programme, patients receive.
-Regular exercise, dietary changes, plenty of oral fluids-Bioenergetic stimulation. And several other protocols to help reduce the rings-like appearance of follicles on the ovaries, with a significant positive result at conception.
SURGERY: Patients with PCOS will require specialist help in managing the PCOS to conceive. Those unable to get pregnant with medical management would require IVF (In-vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer). IVF-ET has been a beneficial treatment for infertility patients with PCOS to conceive.