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Jamaica Scientific Research Institute
Healing the world, one disorder at a time

POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on or inside an ovary. Most cysts don't cause any symptoms and go away on their own. A large ovarian cyst can cause abdominal discomfort. Each month during your menstrual cycle, a follicle grows on the ovary. A follicle is where an egg (also called an ova)is developing. Most months, one egg is released from this follicle in a process called ovulation. If the follicle fails to break open and release the egg, the fluid stays in the follicle and forms a cyst. This is called a follicular cyst.

Another type of cyst occurs after an egg has been released from a follicle. This is called a corpus luteum cyst. Such cysts often contain a small amount of blood.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of a female sex hormones. This may lead to menstrual cycle changes, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health changes. It is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age.

PCOS is linked to changes in the level of certain hormones and more so to these:
  • Estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones that help a woman's ovaries release eggs
  • Androgen, a male hormone found in small amounts in women

It is not completely understood why or how these changes in the hormone levels occur, but the changes make it harder for a woman's ovaries to release fully grown (mature) eggs. Normally, during a woman's period, one or more eggs are released in a process called ovulation. In PCOS, mature eggs are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary. These changes can contribute to infertility. The other symptoms of this disorder are due to the hormone imbalances. Early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.


Most of the time, PCOS is diagnosed in women in their 20s or 30s. However, it may also affect teenage girls. The symptoms often begin when a girl's periods start. Women with this disorder often have a mother or sister who has symptoms similar to those of PCOS. In women past adolescence, difficulty becoming pregnant or unexplained weight gain may be the first sign.

 Symptoms

Signs and symptoms vary from person to person, in both type and severity. To be diagnosed with the condition, your doctor looks for at least two of the following:

  • Changes in your period (menstrual cycle) including but not limited to:
    • No period after you have had one or more normal ones during puberty (secondary amenorrhea)
    • Irregular periods, that may come and go and may be very light to very heavy
    • menstrual intervals longer than 35 days
    • fewer than eight menstrual cycles a year
    • failure to menstruate for four months or longer
  • Excess androgens that can cause the development of male-like characteristics (virilization) including:
    • Body hair growing on the chest, belly, face, and around the nipples (hirsutism)
    • Decreased breast size
    • Enlargement of the clitoris
    • Thinning of the hair on the head, called male-pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia
    • Voice gets deeper
  • Ultrasound showing the polycystic ovaries. Some women with polycystic ovaries may not have PCOS, while a few women with the condition have ovaries that appear normal.
Complications

Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are at risk of developing other chronic conditions (some of which are listed below), especially if obesity also is a factor:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol
  • Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a cardiovascular disease marker
  • Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of signs and symptoms that indicate a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • Sleep apnea
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer), caused by exposure to continuous high levels of estrogen
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, if you do become pregnant
  • Weight gain and obesity

One may also have skin changes such as acne that gets worse; or Dark or thick skin markings and creases around the armpits, groin, neck, and breasts

If you are one of those persons who continue to suffer from this disease despite the best efforts of your doctor, it is time to consider the use of a Herbal tea drink. Talk to your doctor and then talk to us.

For further reading and research into the causes, nature and risk factors of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, you may visit the links below, among others.

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