PCOS can be a complex condition to identify because there are several symptoms and you don’t have to have all of them to be diagnosed with PCOS. Very few women have the same set of symptoms. The name “polycystic” suggests you might have multiple ‘cysts’ on your ovaries, but not all women who have PCOS have multiple ‘cysts’ and not all women who have multiple ‘cysts’ have PCOS.
Symptoms of PCOS typically start soon after a woman begins to menstruate. The type and severity of symptoms varies from person to person. The most common characteristic of PCOS is irregular menstrual periods.
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
Periods & Fertility –
- No periods or periods that are –
- Immature ovarian eggs that do not ovulate
- Multiple cysts on your ovaries
- Difficulty becoming pregnant
Although some women with PCOS have regular periods, high levels of androgens and also the hormone insulin can disrupt the monthly cycle of ovulation (when eggs are released) and menstruation.
If you have PCOS, your periods may be “irregular” or stop altogether. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days with one ovulation, but anywhere between 21 and 35 days is considered “normal”. An “irregular” period cycle is defined as either:
- Eight or less menstrual cycles per year
- Menstrual cycles longer than 35 days
As menstrual cycles lengthen, ovulation may stop entirely or only occur occasionally. Some women with PCOS also experience heavier or lighter bleeding during their menstrual cycle.
High levels of androgens and high insulin levels can affect the menstrual cycle and prevent ovulation (the release of a mature egg from the ovary). Ovulation can stop completely or it can occur irregularly. This can make it more difficult for women with PCOS to conceive naturally, and some women can also have a greater risk of miscarriage. However, this does not mean that all women with PCOS are infertile.
Many women with PCOS have children without the need for medical infertility treatment. Others may require medical assistance.
Hair & Skin –
- Excess facial and/or body hair (hirsutism)
- Acne on your face and/or body
- Scalp hair loss (alopecia)
- Darkened skin patches (acanthosis nigricans)
Hirsutism is an excess of hair on the face and body due to high levels of androgens stimulating the hair follicles. This excess hair is thicker and darker. The hair typically grows in areas where it is more usual for men to grow hair such as the sideburn region, chin, upper lip, around nipples, lower abdomen, chest and thighs.
Up to 60 per cent of women with PCOS have hirsutism. Women with PCOS from ethnic groups prone to darker body hair (e.g. Sri Lankan, Indian and Mediterranean populations) often find they are more severely affected by hirsutism.
For some women with PCOS, the high level of androgens causes hair loss or thinning of the scalp hair in a ‘male-like’ pattern (receding frontal hair line and thinning on the top of the scalp).
If you have PCOS, the higher level of androgens can increase the size of the oil production glands on the skin, which can lead to increased acne. Acne is common in adolescence, but young women with PCOS tend to also have more severe acne.
Mental & Emotional health –
- Mood changes
Depression and anxiety are common symptoms of PCOS. Approximately 29 per cent of women with PCOS have depression compared to around seven per cent of women in the general population and even more women with PCOS will have anxiety – 57 per cent compared to 18 per cent of women in the general population.
Coping with hirsutism, severe acne, weight changes and fertility problems may affect your body image, self-esteem, sexuality and femininity. This may add to depression and anxiety levels. Problems with fertility can impact on your mood, particularly if fertility has been a concern for a long time.
On top of all of this, a delayed diagnosis of PCOS and problems with weight management can make you feel discouraged and helpless. This creates a negative cycle making it harder to take charge of your health and live the healthiest lifestyle you can.
- Sleep apnoea (a sleep disorder where there are abnormal pauses of breathing during sleep)
Women with PCOS, particularly when they are overweight or insulin resistant, can be at an increased risk of developing sleep–disordered breathing or sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea occurs when the upper airway is obstructed during sleep. Excessive fatty tissue in the neck can partially block the airway leading to sleep loss, fatigue, tiredness and reduced quality of life.
Being above a healthy weight worsens insulin resistance and the symptoms of PCOS. Some women with PCOS report that when they are a healthy weight, they don’t have symptoms such as menstrual irregularity or excessive hair growth. These symptoms only appear once they gain weight.
PCOS symptoms present in many different ways, and some women will have only some, or mild symptoms, whereas others will have severe symptoms.
Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS in Pune:
Here at SMV Ayurveda Research Center which is based in Pune our aim is to provide best treatment to resolve polycystic ovaries conditions with help of specialized Ayurvedic Infertility treatments of Ayurveda. Here Basic research for the treatment of polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) is carried out since last 12 years by Vaidya Vinesh Nagare who is Gynaecologist.