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PCOS: A Common Hormonal Disorder In Women

Written by
Dr. Purushottam Sah
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on May 24, 2015 and last reviewed on Dec 29, 2018   -  2 min read



In Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome/Disease, the ovaries develop many small follicles and lead to hormonal imbalance in women.

PCOS: A Common Hormonal Disorder In Women

What is PCOS?

PCOS is Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome. Here the ovaries develop many small follicles, also called cysts of 4-10mm. Poly means ‘many’ and ‘cysts’ are small closed sacs filled with fluid. It often occurs in general female population but is more prevalent in infertility populations. Its cause is not known although it is likely to be due to some genetic disorder.

It causes insulin resistance, a condition where sugar lowering hormone insulin, fails in its action. This results in hormonal imbalance, causing failure of follicles to mature and ovulate.

The immature follicles in PCOS produce more androgen (male hormone) than estrogen (female hormone). Oral contraceptive pills prevent development of immature follicles, but do not dissolve the existing follicles/cysts. The existing cysts dry up naturally over time.

In contrast Clomiphene develops mature follicles which are of 17 to 18mm or more in size. These produce more estrogen as well as ovulate. Clomiphene also does not dissolve the existing follicles/cysts.

Symptoms of PCOS

The immature follicles, also called cysts produce more androgen/testosterone causing the following symptoms:

How to Treat PCOS

PCOS is not completely reversible, but there are a number of treatments that can reduce the symptoms.

The treatment varies depending on the particular problem in a woman.

Irregular periods: If the main problem is irregular periods, then the usual treatment is the oral contraceptive pill.

Infertility: Ovulation can be induced by Clomiphene.

Excessive hair growth: Suppression of male hormone production with tablets such as the oral contraceptive pill or with an anti-male hormone drug Cyproterone acetate used for at least 9 months.

Obesity: A change in lifestyle with low fat diet and exercise can reduce weight. Metformin,a drug used for diabetes can also reduce weight and improve hormonal imbalance.

Consult an obstetrician and gynaecologist online for queries regarding PCOS -->


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Last reviewed at:
29 Dec 2018  -  2 min read


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