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Home > Blogs > PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): What You Should Know

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): What You Should Know

Obstetrics and Gynaecology | by CMRI


PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal issue in women during their reproductive years. It is estimated that nearly one in 10 women have PCOS which results in irregular periods which can last for days. Doctors who diagnose PCOS usually refer to it as fertility or your ability to have a child. 

Some women with PCOS have small cysts on their ovaries which is why it is called ‘polycystic’. However, not all women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have cysts. This blog contains information about PCOS and the different ways in which you can manage the condition. 

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition in women which affects the menstrual cycle and if often associated with fertility. Primarily, there are three hormones which contribute to the PCOS -


  • Androgens which are often called male hormones are present in women too. However, women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of androgen.
  • Insulin which manages your blood sugar levels. High insulin levels can trigger PCOS and impair ovulation causing the ovaries to make excess testosterone.
  • Progesterone which is not present is too much quantity. In case of PCOS, women may miss their periods for long intervals or may experience trouble predicting them.


How Do I Know If I Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms usually begin around the time of the first menstrual cycle. Women in their teens are often unaware of the symptoms which can also develop in later stages after their first periods. Therefore, the symptoms may vary from person to person.

Common polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms include missed irregular or prolonged periods. Additionally, some women may also experience acne, unwanted facial hair, pelvic pains, female pattern baldness, and weight changes, along with excess skin on the neck or armpits. In case you observe these symptoms, you must consult a gynaecologist for early diagnosis and timely treatment.  


PCOS: How Does it Occur? 

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, there are several contributing factors which can trigger the condition. Genetic factors also play a role in passing the condition to their offspring. This means that if your mother or sister has PCOS, you are more likely to have it too. 

Certain lifestyle and eating habits also contribute to polycystic ovary syndrome causes which can get worse in later stages of life. Also, women who have bigger ovaries are at an increased risk of developing PCOS symptoms.  Here are some other risk factors which can progress the condition - 

  • Excess Androgen
  • Increased Insulin 
  • Low-Grade Inflammation
  • Obesity


How Is PCOS Diagnosed?

The doctor begins by asking you about your symptoms and checking your medical report. Since heredity is a common risk factor for PCOS, the doctor may also examine your family history sheet. There is no particular test for polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis. However, based on your symptoms analysis, your healthcare person may recommend several tests to confirm the condition. Polycystic ovary syndrome tests include - 

  • Ultrasound is done to analyse the ovaries and the thickness of the uterus lining. The doctors also leverage ultrasound to check cyst growth. 
  • Pelvic examination to check for the reproductive organs for abnormal growth or other changes. 
  • Blood tests to measure the hormone levels and exclude the possibility of other menstrual problems which can mimic polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms.


In case you are worried about your periods, it is always better to talk to your doctor regarding the issue. Prolonging the treatment can cause problems during pregnancy. Therefore, get in touch with a gynaecologist for an early diagnosis. 


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment: What Is The Cure?

Since there is no exact cause of PCOS, the treatment mainly focuses on managing the symptoms and preventing the condition from progressing further. Mostly, the aim is to reduce the risk factors which contribute to the development of irregular periods. Certain lifestyle changes, like engaging in moderate exercises, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, etc. can improve the condition. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome treatment varies depending on the medical health and preference of the patient. Medicines decrease the risk of endometrial cancer and help regulate your menstrual cycle. Some doctors recommend hormonal birth control pills to women who aren’t planning to get pregnant. Young women who are willing to start a family in their later stages may be given fertility medication to help them ovulate. The doctor may recommend the following medicines to help women get pregnant -

  • Clomiphene
  • Letrozole
  • Metformin
  • Gonadotropins


Additionally, certain medications can also reduce excessive hair growth and improve acne. In such cases, the doctor may recommend - 

  • Spironolactone
  • Eflornithine
  • Laser hair removal or electrolysis
  • Tropical creams, gels or pills for acne


While all the above methods are effective options, the doctor may also suggest surgical intervention for long-term health benefits. Polycystic ovary syndrome surgery is a procedure called ovarian drilling which improves the function of your ovaries for better ovulation. Since medicines may not always be effective, the laparoscopic procedures can change your hormonal levels and make it easier for you to ovulate. 



PCOS has been a common hormonal problem for most women who are in their reproductive stages. While there is not much awareness about the condition, the stigma around PCOS and pregnancy remains apparent. Therefore, it is important to diagnose the condition early to reduce the risk of diabetes and other health conditions. The doctor may suggest a polycystic ovary syndrome diet to manage weight and overall health. In case you suspect PCOS, do not hesitate to talk about it to your parents, sibling or a doctor. Treatment is only a phone call away.





What are the effects of PCOS?

PCOS may affect people differently. However, common side-effects of PCOS include - 

  • Infertility
  • Type-2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disorders
  • Diseases related to high cholesterol levels
  • Increased risk of endometrial cancer

Whom should I consult for my polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms?

In case you are experiencing PCOS symptoms, get in touch with a gynaecologist. A gynaecologist specialises in treating conditions related to the reproductive health of a woman from the time she gets her first period till post-menopause.