September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month

September is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Awareness Month

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, better known by the acronym PCOS, is an endocrine disease that affects around 5% to 10% of the female population of childbearing age. The problem, although quite common, is still little debated and, therefore, September was elected the Month of Awareness on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. “It is essential that women are always watching their bodies and at the slightest sign that something is not normal, seek medical help. In general, the sooner you identify and start appropriate treatment, the better”, explains gynecologist Dr. Graziele Reis, from IV Salvador.

PCOS, a very common hormonal disorder, is characterized by the presence of too many follicles (greater than 20) or increased ovarian volume, menstrual irregularity, absence of menstruation for a few months and signs of increased male hormones such as acne, hair growth on the body and hair loss.

The diagnosis is made by the transvaginal ultrasound exam, combined with blood tests for hormone dosage and the evaluation of the symptoms that the patient presents. The suspicion of PCOS is based on menstrual irregularity and signs of hyperandrogenism, such as hirsutism, acne, increased serum concentrations of total, free testosterone or androstenedione. It can still be symptoms of PCOS, the tendency to obesity, and weight gain worsens the syndrome. And there can also be hair loss and depression.

“Diagnosing PCOS involves carrying out complementary exams, but mainly observing the patient’s clinical symptoms. That’s why it’s so important that this patient maintains regular appointments and reviews with her doctor. As some factors can be considered “normal” in isolation, this doctor-patient relationship can be the key to identifying the disease”, explains the specialist.

A specific cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is not yet known, but it is known that half of women with this syndrome have hormonal problems, such as excess production of insulin by the pancreas, and the rest have problems in the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, producing greater amount of male hormones. The disease is mostly seen in women aged between 20 and 40 years, therefore, at the height of their reproductive age.

“That’s why women need to investigate. Especially if she intends to be a mother. It is common for infertility treatment in PCOS patients to involve lifestyle changes, such as regular physical activity, a healthy diet, medications to improve insulin resistance, and some medication for ovulation induction in women. Thus, the numbers show that about 50% to 80% of patients ovulate and 40% to 50% become pregnant.

Just as it is a chronic disease, the treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome aims to improve symptoms. Obese women with facial and body hair and acne need to lose weight. Sometimes, only weight loss helps to reverse the picture. If they are not obese, attention is focused on controlling the production of male hormones, which is achieved through drugs that also act to regulate menstruation, reduce the production of oil by the sebaceous glands and reduce growth. of hair.

About the IVI – RMANJ

IVI was born in 1990 as the first medical institution in Spain to specialize entirely in human reproduction. Since then, it has helped to raise more than 250,000 children, thanks to the application of the latest technologies in Assisted Reproduction. In early 2017, IVI merged with RMANJ, becoming the largest Assisted Reproduction group in the world. There are currently around 80 clinics in 9 countries and 7 research centers around the world, being a leader in Reproductive Medicine. In 2022, the IVI Salvador unit turns 12 years old.

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