PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is a condition from which women suffer a variety of symptoms related to reproductive hormonal imbalances.
If you suffer from PCOS – it means that you have a higher number of healthy but underdeveloped follicles in your ovaries and because of these hormonal imbalances – egg development does not progress as with a typical menstrual cycle, as there is no lead egg maturing for release at the time of ovulation. The underdeveloped follicles are referred to as polycystic or ‘cysts’.
🌺Symptoms of PCOS
The initial signs and symptoms of PCOS can be apparent in your mid-late teens as you go through puberty but not all women will have the exact same symptoms and many do not experience all of them.
It likely that you will have been diagnosed with PCOS if you suffer irregular periods, prolonged periods or no periods at all.
If the androgens (male hormones) in your body are imbalanced, you may also suffer from hirsutism, which can cause excessive hair growth on the face, neck, chest, back and buttocks.
You may also experience weight gain, thinning hair, oily skin or acne and subsequently, you may find that you have difficulty conceiving when trying to start a family.
🌺What causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown but it is thought to be linked to abnormal reproductive hormone levels. There may also be a genetic link to developing PCOS as it has been known to run in families. Therefore, your risk of developing PCOS may be increased if your female relatives (mother, aunt or sister) have been diagnosed.
Women with PCOS are found to have an imbalance in certain hormones, which can include:
🔻Higher levels of LH (Luteinising Hormone)
🔻Higher levels of testosterone
🔻Raised levels of prolactin (hormone generated in your pituitary gland, located just below your brain)
🔻Lower levels of SHBG – The SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin)