Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS) and its Complications

Source: The post is based on the articlePolycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS) and its Complicationspublished in PIB on 23rd January 2023.

What is the News?

Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics(IJBB), one of the premier monthly journals from CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (NIScPR) has brought out a special issue on the theme, “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and its Complications”.

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS)?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Source: PCOS Challenge

Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS) is a multifactorial endocrine disorder which is characterized by chronic anovulation. 

It is the most prevailing female endocrine disorder and the pre-eminent cause of infertility, with a worldwide range of 6-26% and in India, it is 3.7-22.5%. 

Risk factors that contribute to the development of PCOS include genetics, neuroendocrine system, sedentary lifestyle, diet, and obesity. 

What happens in PCOS?

In PCOS, small millimetre-sized cysts form on the ovaries which lead to an increase in the size of the ovaries (normal ovarian size is the size of an almond). The size may be increased to almost double their size. 

Due to this increase in size, the ovaries start releasing abnormal hormones. instead of normal female hormones, the ovaries start producing male hormones, especially testosterone which is responsible for the effects seen in PCOS.

These abnormal male hormones released by the affected ovaries lead to hair growth on the face, acne, loss of hair on the scalp, abnormal menstrual cycles and may even lead to the inability to conceive. 

What is the treatment for PCOS?

PCOS is a hormonal condition which has no cure, but can only be brought under control.

There are synthetic drugs such as metformin and oral contraceptive pills available for treatment, but their side effects cause concern. 

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