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Understanding PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)

What is PCOS?

PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels.  All bodies need both “male” and “female” hormones to work right, but a woman with PCOS has too much of the male kind. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. PCOS is estimated to affect 1 in 10 women of childbearing age.

The cause of polycystic ovary syndrome isn’t well understood but may involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

How does this affect my ability to conceive? 

Having PCOS does not mean you can’t get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women. In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries

How would I know if I have PCOS?

Signs and symptoms of PCOS vary. A diagnosis of PCOS is made when you experience at least two of these signs:

  • Irregular periods. Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, you might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods, and abnormally heavy periods.
  • Excess androgen. Elevated levels of male hormone may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.
  • Polycystic ovaries. Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.
  • Acne and obesity. Your skin may start acne breakouts more than usual, and you may gain weight that is hard to explain otherwise.

Traditional treatments include birth control pills to regularise periods, methylated supplements, medication called metformin to prevent diabetes, statins to control high cholesterol, hormones to increase fertility, and procedures to remove excess hair. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  PCOS treatment differs if you are trying to fall pregnant or not as certain medications can affect fertility and cause damage to the growing fetus.

PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility. Supreme Fertility has a range of products to help you combat PCOS in various ways, and is also able to help you with an eating plan to help with healthy weight loss. These products are all available at the Supreme Aesthetics practices.  

When should I seek professional help?

Contact the practice to make an appointment with the doctor if you have concerns about your menstrual periods, if you’re experiencing infertility or if you have signs of excess androgen such as worsening hirsutism (abnormal growth of hair on a your face and body), acne or male-pattern baldness.

The link between your DNA and PCOS

Studies have also linked certain genes with an increased risk of developing PCOS and this explains why many sisters, mothers, and daughters have it. The Supreme Fertility programme takes a look at some of the genes that have been associated with an increased risk of PCOS or increased severity of symptoms.

Did You Know?

Some symptoms of PCOS can be confused with other medical conditions and to rule this out your healthcare practitioner may:

  • Perform an ultrasound investigation to take a closer look at blood vessels, tissues, and organs as well as the thickness of the endometrium.
  • Visually and manually look for growths, cysts, tumors, and other abnormalities.

If you are diagnosed with PCOS your healthcare practitioner may also monitor:

  • Blood pressure
  • Glucose tolerance
  • Cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Depression and anxiety levels
  • Possible sleep apnea

From Our Supreme Fertility Supplements range

Our Supreme Fertility Supplement range supports gene variations that help optimise male and female fertility. They also support patients with PCOS and will be an excellent addition to any monthly prescription.

  • Supreme Fertility Folate
  • Supreme Fertility Multi-Vitamin

To order, please contact your Supreme Aesthetics practice.

Every individual has a unique set of genes. Knowing the traits of specific genes gives you a good indication of your health status and can potentially highlight any genetic risks you may have to certain chronic diseases. Your genes also code the production of proteins in the body, each with a role to play.

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