You probably know that your menstrual cycle and fertility are regulated by reproductive hormones called estrogen and progesterone. Your ovaries keep under the control synthesis of these chemicals and regular releasing of the eggs. By the way, woman's body normally produces small amount of male hormones androgens.
Sometimes hormonal balance gets disturbed, leading to excessive production of androgens in female organism. As a result, multiple fluid-filled sacs (cysts) can be formed in the ovarian tissue. This condition is medically called polycystic ovary syndrome or Stein-Leventhal syndrome.
In addition to excessive androgens production, your ovaries begin to produce excess of estrogen. It was also found that insulin resistance (usual cause of type 2 diabetes) has a close link with PCOS occurrence. The reason is that when cells become insensitive to insulin, your pancreas begins to create more insulin. Hyperinsulinemia, in turn, boosts production of male hormones.
Specialists say that women with PCOS have certain genetic predisposition to this disorder. By the way, chronic inflammatory process may also increase production of androgens in your body. Polycystic ovary syndrome affects about 5-10% women in childbearing age and is recognized as the main culprit of female infertility.
Actually many PCOS sufferers don't even know about existence of the problem. If left untreated,this hormonal imbalance may contribute to serious health issues like endometrial cancer, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea and miscarriage.
Consult with your doctor, if you have noticed one or more of these PCOS signs in yourself:
#1. Changes in periods – hormonal imbalance leads to lack of ovulation and to irregularity of menstrual cycle. Many women don't menstruate at all or have less than nine periods per year.
#2. Hirsutism – in vast majority of cases women with elevated levels of androgens notice excessive hair growth on the face, neck, chest, belly,toes and in the armpits.
#3. Acne – too much of male hormones makes your skin oily and pimply. Pustules, comedones and other rashes may appear on the face, chest, shoulders and back.
#4. Weight gain – people with polycystic ovaries usually suffer from excessive production of insulin. Hyperinsulinemia can increase your appetite, leading to weight gain. You may also find it difficult to get rid of excessive weight, if having this hormonal imbalance.
#5. Male-pattern baldness – extreme thinning and loss of the hair is a stressful event for each woman. Be aware that baldness is rather common sign of polycystic ovary syndrome.
#6. Infertility – in PCOS ovaries cut down or cease completely releasing of eggs, making it extremely difficult to conceive and to carry the pregnancy.
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