Polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women in the reproductive age (prevalence 10%). The symptoms of the disease are varied, acne, pronounced body hair, lack of ovulation and unfulfilled desire for children are symptoms that lead patients to the gynecologist. In addition to these symptoms, obesity, insulin resistance (pre-stage of diabetes mellitus) and depression are also possible symptoms.
How can you recognize a PCOS?
PCOS can be very different, and for many women, only some of the symptoms are obvious, which is why it often takes a long time to diagnose.
Various criteria have been summarized as so-called Rotterdam criteria and help with the diagnosis. The criteria include rare or no ovulation, signs of an excess of male hormones (testosterone in the blood, acne, male hair pattern), abnormalities of the ovaries on ultrasound
Further useful investigations
Since the hormonal disorder in PCOS also affects many other body systems, it is worthwhile to carry out further examinations to identify other aspects of the disease at an early stage.
- blood pressure measurement
- Determination of fat levels in the blood
- Determination of insulin resistance (HOMA index) as a risk factor for diabetes mellitus, possibly a sugar test to diagnose diabetes mellitus
- Acquisition of the body mass index
- Thyroid antibodies
The symptoms of the disease are caused by an increased level of androgens (male hormones) in the blood, these hormon-excess comes from the ovary. This excess of androgens is the cause of the rare or no ovulation and therefore also the reason for the absence of menstruation, pronounced acne and male hair patterns (chin, thighs, upper arms, chest).
More than half of the women affected, have an increased insulin level because various tissues are less sensitive to insulin (liver, muscles, fat tissue), which can lead to diabetes later on.
60% of women with PCOS are overweight and up to 75% are insulin resistant. Depression and anxiety disorders are also more common in women with this condition. This affects the entire life cycle of women, since many symptoms can have far-reaching consequences if left untreated.
For these reasons, the diagnosis and therapy of PCOS is essential with regard to the desire to have children as well as with regard to the rest of the woman’s life. The goals of an efficient therapy are to improve the symptoms experienced by the woman, such as improving acne, the pattern of hair, a regular cycle and fulfilling a possible desire to have children, but also preventing possible secondary diseases such as diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure, and improving psychological symptoms.
The therapy options vary, depending on the age and stage of life of the woman.
However, the lifestyle is always at the center. The reduction in weight can be achieved through physical activity and changes in eating behavior.
Even a weight reduction of 5-10% can lead to a normal functioning cycle with ovulation and to an improvement in blood pressure and insulin resistance.
Gyn-health offers competent medical care for affected patients.
In order to achieve the therapy goals, we work with family doctors, nutritional counseling, psychiatrists / psychologists or other specialists where necessary. The well-being of the patient is always the focus.