You probably know that your menstrual function is regulated by sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, produced by pair organs called ovaries. But have you ever heard that woman's body normally produces a few of male hormone androgen? If your organism makes a decision to synthesize more of androgens, problems may occur.
Excessive production of male hormones usually disturbs normal menstrual cycle and leads to formation of cysts in the ovarian tissue. The medical term for this disorder is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
It's not actually clear enough, why this trouble can happen. Specialists say that it may be about genetic breakage, because those, who suffer from PCOS, usually have mother or sister with the same problem.
It was found that overproduction of androgens is commonly accompanied by insulin resistance. This hormone is created by your pancreas in order to help you to convert glucose from foods into energy.
When cells get resistant to insulin, your pancreas begins to produce more and more of it, trying to compensate the problem. Too much of insulin can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Other risk factor, which can potentially contribute to cystic reformation of your ovaries, is low-grade inflammation, existed in the body for a long time.
According to statistic, PCOS affects about eight to twenty percent women of childbearing age. It's interesting, that your body can produce too much of androgens, without causing any specific symptoms.
However, polycystic ovary syndrome can manifest in one or more of these symptoms:
#1. Periods changes – hormonal imbalance affects your menstrual cycle, making it shorter or longer. Your menses may become abnormally heavy or, conversely, scanty, if having PCOS. Excess of androgens may even lead to complete cease of your periods.
#2. Hirsutism – in vast majority of cases polycystic ovary syndrome causes unusual for women hair growth, meaning its appearance on the face, back and belly.
#3. Weight gain – those, who have PCOS, usually complain of difficulties with weight management. It's maybe about insulin resistance, which usually exists in these patients and leads to weight gain.
#4. Acne – too much of androgens make your skin oilier and pimply. Pay attention that blackheads, whiteheads and pustules can indicate wide variety of hormonal problems.
#5. Acanthosis nigricans – sometimes PCOS can manifest in dark spots on your neck, breasts or groin.
#6. Intensive hair loss – excessive synthesis of androgens in woman's body can be a culprit of male-pattern baldness.
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