Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder in females of reproductive age. It is characterized by two or more of the following:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Polycystic ovaries
Unfortunately, PCOS is underdiagnosed, frequently taking a long time to be identified, often over a year.
Multiple morbidities are associated with PCOS, including infertility, metabolic syndrome, obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular risk, depression, obstructive sleep apnea, endometrial cancer, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease .
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome PCOS is believed to be a genetically inherited metabolic and gynaecological disorder. A repetitive vicious cycle occurs with hormones resulting in the progression of PCOS. To begin with, failure of an ovary to release oocyte results in increased levels of androgen production released from the ovaries as well as the adrenal cortex. The excess androgen hormones in the system have a twofold effect. First, androgens are stored in adipose tissue where they are then converted into estrogen. Excess androgens then result in an increased production of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHGB). This increased SHGB then has the consequence of an even greater fabrication of androgens and estrogens. Thus, the cycle begins. The cause of the excess androgen production has been correlated to surplus Luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulation resulting in the presence of cystic changes in the ovaries.
What are the symptoms?
A physiotherapist and dietician are highly recommended as these are considered first-line treatments.
Weight reduction is an important component of the physical therapy program since weight reduction improves glucose intolerance which in turn could resolve the reproductive and metabolic derangements often associated with PCOS. Weight loss may also reduce the pulse amplitude of luteinizing hormone thus reducing androgen production.
Other alternative interventions