PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is caused by a hormonal imbalance in a woman's reproductive system. Periods may be irregular and conception can be extremely difficult. PCOS occurs when many small tumors develop in a woman's ovary. The continued growth causes the hormones to be thrown out of balance. If the hormone imbalance is not corrected, weight gain/loss, infertility, and an increased risk of other potentially harmful health conditions may develop. This includes heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic disorders that lead changes in how the body functions as a whole.
Symptoms may go unnoticed at first or they may be extremely mild. A few of the most common symptoms include acne, irregular bleeding, both during periods and between, excessive weight gain, difficulty losing weight, the growth of hair in different areas of the body, including the face and chest, and fertility problems. If the hormone imbalance continues for a long period of time, it can also lead to extreme fatigue and depression. Doctors may only find one or two symptoms at first. Not all of the symptoms of PCOS may appear at the same time. The doctor will have to do a thorough examination to ensure that an accurate diagnosis is given.
PCOS has no known cure, but it can be controlled. Keeping the condition under control, however, can reduce the potential risk of more serious health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and infertility. Hormone therapy is a well-known treatment option that is used to keep hormone levels in balance and prevent the growth of new tumors. Doctors encourage proper lifestyle habits that include eating a nutritious diet, exercise, getting sufficient amounts of rest, and eliminating the use of tobacco products and alcohol. While these will not cure the condition, they may help to prevent it from progressing faster than normal.
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