Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCO syndrome) is common in women of childbearing age. The disease is associated with hormonal imbalances. The symptoms of PCO syndrome include the development of male sexual characteristics and cycle disorders.
You can find out more about the causes of polycystic ovary syndrome and the treatment options below.
The most important facts about PCO syndrome at a glance
- PCO syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that mainly affects younger women who are able to give birth.
- Causes of polycystic ovary syndrome include genetic factors, obesity and insulin resistance.
- Typical symptoms of PCO syndrome are menstrual irregularities, heavy bleeding and masculinisation.
- Without treatment, the risk of various secondary diseases increases, such as type 2 diabetes and uterine cancer.
- With the right treatment measures, the symptoms associated with PCO syndrome can usually be alleviated well.
- When treating polycystic ovary syndrome, one of the factors to consider is whether the patient wants to have children.
What is PCO syndrome?
PCO syndrome mainly affects younger, childbearing women. The condition is also called polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome.
It is a hormonal disorder associated with excessive production of male hormones. It is estimated that PCO syndrome may affect more than one in 10 women.
What causes PCO syndrome?
The exact causes of polycystic ovary syndrome are unclear. Genetic factors seem to play a role in the risk of getting the disease.
There is also evidence that being overweight increases the likelihood of getting PCO syndrome. Nevertheless, women of normal weight can also develop polycystic ovary syndrome.
Another risk factor is insulin resistance. This leads to the regulation of the blood sugar level no longer functioning properly. It also stimulates the production of male hormones.
Symptoms of PCO syndrome
PCO syndrome can cause a number of different symptoms in affected women. The severity of the symptoms varies from woman to woman.
Basically, the main consequences of PCO syndrome are menstrual irregularities and a masculinisation of the body. In addition, affected women can become infertile. In addition, some women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome also experience psychological problems.
Cycle disorders due to PCO syndrome
PCO syndrome causes many women to ovulate only rarely or even not at all. This inevitably leads to cycle disorders. Periods are missed or the intervals between menstrual periods are very long.
In addition to missing or infrequent periods, women with PCO syndrome often also suffer from noticeably heavy bleeding.
Infertility as a result of PCO syndrome
Without ovulation, of course, fertilisation of the egg is not possible. For this reason, infertility is one of the possible symptoms that can occur in women with PCO syndrome.
PCO syndrome leads to masculinisation
This becomes noticeable with the following signs, among others:
- Increased growth of hair on the body
- Hair loss and even baldness
- Growth of facial hair
- Acne and other skin problems
- Development of a masculine physique
- A deeper voice
he extent to which virilisation is pronounced varies from individual to individual. Therefore, it is not possible to make a general statement about how noticeable virilisation is in women with PCO syndrome.
Long-term consequences of polycystic ovary syndrome
If polycystic ovary syndrome is not treated, it can lead to serious long-term complications. Among other things, the risk of strokes and heart attacks is increased. It also increases the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and uterine cancer.
Diagnosis of PCO syndrome
To avoid serious consequences and to get the symptoms under control, women should of course contact their gynaecologist promptly if they have any symptoms of PCO syndrome.
In many cases, the diagnosis is not difficult based on the symptoms that occur. However, various other diseases can also manifest themselves in a similar way. For this reason, a comprehensive diagnosis is usually common.
The gynaecologist can carry out the necessary examinations for the diagnosis:
- During an anamnesis interview, she will ask the patient questions about possible cycle disorders and other complaints, among other things.
- The next step is usually a general examination and a gynaecological examination.
- The cysts in the ovaries that are typical of PCO syndrome can be easily detected with the help of an ultrasound examination.
- The excessive production of male hormones can be diagnosed by virilisation and by measuring various hormones.
Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome
Unfortunately, it is not possible to cure polycystic ovary syndrome. However, if treatment is started early enough, the symptoms can be managed well.
The exact treatment depends on whether or not you still want to have children. Your gynaecologist will discuss the available options with you so that you can make a decision together.
Lifestyle changes are very important in the treatment of PCO syndrome. This is true for both women who want to have children and women who do not.
For overweight patients, a reduction in body weight can contribute to a significant alleviation of the symptoms. In addition, a regular exercise programme is recommended to support the normalisation of the hormone balance.
Treatment of PCO syndrome in women who do not wish to have children
For women who do not want to have children, it is possible to counteract the irregularities in the menstrual cycle with an ovulation inhibitor such as the contraceptive pill or a hormone-releasing intrauterine device.
Treatment of PCO syndrome in women who want to have children
If women with PCO syndrome want to have a child, hormonal contraceptives are obviously not an option to counteract the symptoms. Instead, the most important thing is to make lifestyle adjustments.
In addition, treatment in this case involves hormones and medication. This serves to stimulate ovulation. If the therapy does not work, surgery may be necessary.
Our tip for heavy menstrual bleeding
Many women with PCO syndrome are affected by excessive bleeding during their menstruation. This is often an enormous burden in everyday life.
Weekiss period underwear is perfect for protecting you during heavy bleeding. The comfortable menstrual briefs have a pleasant feel and provide maximum security during your period.
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