Often, due to our limited knowledge on certain matters, we overlook the plight of those who suffer in pain quietly. Their battles and the hurdles they face every day are not given their due importance, simply because the fiend they’re battling is too taboo a topic in our society. However, their battle is real. Their hurdles are real. And their pain is real. One example of a group of such individuals is that of the women who suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS.)
Globally, PCOS affects 1-in-10 women. However, according to a study, PCOS affects 1-in-3 women in the subcontinent – an alarmingly high prevalence incidence.
Before we discuss just how it affects women in our country, let’s talk about what PCOS actually is.
When a woman has an increased amount of male hormones – androgens – within her system, a set of symptoms indicating that the woman is suffering from PCOS is detected. This leads to an enlarged ovary with follicles. These follicles are fluid-filled sacs that are unable to release an egg. Therefore ovulation cannot take place. Estrogen levels could also be elevated, which could lead to endometrial cancer somewhere down the line.
But why does PCOS occur in women in the first place?
Well, PCOS could be genetic, but external factors can also have a lot to do with it. For example, the lifestyle you lead could determine whether or not you’ll be a victim of the disorder. Obesity and a lack of physical activity are risk factors.
How can you detect PCOS?
Like almost every other disorder, PCOS, too, has a set of signs and symptoms. Let’s go over a few, best explained in the following image:
One of the most unnerving parts about suffering from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is the fact that it is incurable.
There is no known cure for PCOS as yet. However, there are various ways in which it can be managed effectively.
These would vary from patient to patient, based on their symptoms and desire to conceive. Moreover, some of the ultimate goals would be to restore fertility and regular menstruation. Here’s how that can be done:
By taking certain medications:
Medications are essential in restoring fertility, tackling hirutism and acne and also in regulating the menstrual cycle.
Controlling the patient’s diet:
Though this is a tall order and is often difficult to manage, weight loss in PCOS that is caused due to obesity is the most effective management method.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is not an easy disorder to battle. It takes a toll on you mentally, physically and emotionally.
However, it is not impossible to manage it, given that the guidelines provided by gynecologists and nutritionists are followed strictly. It’s imperative that we know about such disorders, especially given the fact that their prevalence in women is pretty high. Let us hope that if we understand the plight of these women better, we may, in turn, be able to empathize with them as well.
Do you have anything to add or share? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via: shutterstock.com