Nowadays, lifestyle changes are causing abnormalities in women’s periodic cycles, which later become symptoms of lifestyle diseases. These diseases are hormonal balance issues, thyroid disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), etc. The effects of PCOS, their long-term consequences, and the symptoms to recognize them will be discussed in this article.
It is essential to know the long-term health risks associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) to make the appropriate decision regarding your health.
- Infertility or subfertility
- Endometrial cancer
- Lipid abnormalities
- Cardiovascular risks
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Although PCOS does not cause these conditions in all women, it increases your risk of developing them. Therefore, it is imperative to see a physician who has experience treating women with PCOS regularly to keep track of your health. It is essential to see a physician regularly throughout your reproductive years and even after menopause. This is even if you no longer have irregular periods and other symptoms of PCOS lessen. Many thousands of women with PCOS are treated for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome every year.
PCOS Effects and Risks that may occur
1. Infertility or Subfertility
Often, women who cannot get pregnant are not aware that they have PCOS until they see their doctor. Women with PCOS may have infertility (reduced fertility).
A hormonal imbalance caused by an overproduction of testosterone could explain this. Sometimes, ova (eggs) are not released from the ovaries.
Assisted reproductive technologies and ovulation-inducing drugs have made it possible for many women with PCOS to conceive.
Even though PCOS lowers a woman’s chances of getting pregnant, the disease is not a substitute for birth control. Despite the condition, many women can conceive naturally without medical assistance. Contraceptives are recommended for women who are sexually active and do not wish to become pregnant.
Endometrial cancer (which can occur at the lining of the uterus) appears as the highest risk for women with PCOS in the latter part of their life.
Women of all age groups experience a monthly buildup of the endometrial lining in the uterus. The lining is normally shed at ovulation in the case of non-pregnant women. It is the process of preparing the body to gain the potential for a fertilized egg.
2. Endometrial Cancer (Endometrial Carcinoma)
Though there is an experience of the monthly buildup of the endometrial lining, due to the infrequent or nonexistent menstrual periods in women with PCOS, the lining is not shed sufficiently. Thus the lining continuously builds and will increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Sugar (glucose) is metabolized or processed by the body with the help of insulin. Impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance has been linked to PCOS. In addition, PCOS is aggravated by high levels of insulin, which stimulate testosterone production.
Up to 40% of women with PCOS have abnormal glucose tolerance by age 40, either diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
4. Lipid Abnormalities
Women with PCOS are at risk for having unfavorable lipid profiles due to hyperandrogenism (increased testosterone). As a result, a woman with PCOS may have a high level of fat substances in her bloodstream. The blood lipid profile of some women may show a lower percentage of high-density lipoproteins (HDL, the “good” cholesterol) and a more significant percentage of low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the “bad” cholesterol). As a result of this imbalance, cardiovascular disease is more likely to occur.
5. Cardiovascular Risks
PCOS is associated with an increased risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases in women. The tendency for women with PCOS to be overweight increases their risk of cardiovascular disease, just as obesity increases cardiovascular disease risk for women and men without PCOS.
6. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Several studies have confirmed that women with PCOS are at high risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Increased body weight on this risk is apparent, but women with PCOS are also at high risk. The high testosterone levels in PCOS may also contribute to the development of sleep apnea.
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What are the symptoms of PCOS problems in females?
PCOS may cause symptoms: 1. Menstrual irregularities, missed periods, or very light periods 2. Large ovaries or ovaries with many cysts 3. Excessive body hair, such as on the chest, abdomen, and back (hirsutism) 4. Weight gain, especially around the abdomen (belly fat) 5. Oily skin or acne 6. Thinning hair or male-pattern baldness 7. Infertility 8. Overgrowth of skin on the neck or under the arms (skin tags) 9. A dark or thick patch of skin on the back of the neck, under the arms, and under the breasts.
What are the first signs of PCOS?
Period irregularities are undoubtedly the first sign of PCOS. An irregular menstrual cycle is characterized by periods occurring before 21 days and after 35 days in adults and 45 days in teens. Having trouble getting pregnant is also a sign of PCOS.
Which exercise is best for PCOS?
Those with PCOS can benefit from moderate exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. With this exercise, you are less likely to get the cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes because it increases your body's sensitivity to insulin.
What percent of Indian women have PCOS?
The number of women affected by this health condition is estimated to be around 10 million worldwide. It has been estimated that about 20-25 percent of Indian women of childbearing age suffer from PCOS based on a study conducted by AIIMS' department of endocrinology and metabolism.
At what age PCOS starts?
In most cases, PCOS is found when women have trouble getting pregnant, but the condition often begins after their first menstrual period. It is also possible to develop in the 20s or 30s.
What is difference between PCOS and PCOD?
The term PCOS refers to an endocrine system disorder, while PCOD refers to a condition caused by hormonal imbalance. The excessive production or deficiency of a hormone may lead to hormonal imbalances due to an endocrine system disorder.