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I think many women around today know about PCOS, unlike the past times, but due to lack of research, many women still don’t know about menstrual irregularities. So today, I am going to talk about PCOS and menstrual irregularities.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that causes enlargement of ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. Even today, the exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown, but PCOS includes a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
One of the primary symptoms of PCOS is an irregular or absent menstrual cycle, and this happened because of hormonal imbalances in the body.
How PCOS affects your Menstrual Cycle?
Every month, a follicle egg matures in women, and it is released by your ovaries to get fertilized. Still, due to hormonal imbalances seen in PCOS, which includes increased levels of androgens such as testosterone and huge levels of luteinizing hormone, the follicle in women cannot get mature or get released. And instead of being released, the follicle or a cyst stays in the ovaries itself that can be diagnosed and can be seen on an ultrasound.
High levels of androgens interfere with your menstrual cycle and can prevent ovulation. And without ovulation and due to the hormonal events that lead up to it, your uterus can’t simulate.
However, these symptoms are not the same in every woman as everybody reacts differently. Some women with PCOS do have regular periods after every 28 days, while others might have periods after every 30 to 40 days, and others might not have periods at all. While this is a very symptom of PCOS, there is a need to get yourself checked, especially if you are getting less than eight or nine periods each year.
One should not take this lightly or ignore the irregular symptoms because when you don’t have a regular period, this affects your fertility and increases your risk of developing endometrial cancer.
What are Irregular Periods?
While some women in PCOS have regular periods, but it depends on the body to body, so some might not have periods, or they have irregular periods.
So how can you define if you are having irregular periods?
- If you have a menstrual cycle between eight or fewer.
- If your menstrual cycle is less than 21 days.
- If your menstrual cycle is longer than 35 days.
- If your period cycle does not start by the age of 15.
- If your menstrual cycle has begun for a year but the day count is still longer than 90.
- If your menstrual cycle has covered 1-3 years since the periods started, but your cycle is still shorter than 21 days or longer than 45 days.
How to Regulate your Cycle
Even if a woman just loses 5 to 10% of her body weight, then it can improve the reproductive aspects of PCOS.
Birth Control Pills
Many doctors will recommend you birth control pills. You shouldn’t be afraid of it, as birth control pills regulate your hormone levels and lower testosterone levels to give you a more consistent period.
Glucophage or Provera can help a woman to get their periods. However, Provera can only be used for short runs, but Glucophage or Metformin can help on a regular basis.
Myo and d-Chiro Inositol
A combination of Myo and d-Chiro Inositol helps to reduce testosterone levels and helps in regulating the menstrual cycle, and can further help in promoting ovulation in women.
How it is Diagnosed
Even today, there is no proper test that can be done to diagnose PCOS. The only possibility is your doctor talking to you about your medical history, changes in your menstrual cycle, and changes in your weight as well.
Your doctor might suggest:
A Pelvic Exam
The doctor thoroughly inspects your reproductive organs for masses, growths, or other abnormalities.
Your blood will be analyzed to measure hormone levels. You will go under some blood testing to measure glucose tolerance and fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Your doctor will check the appearance of your ovaries and the thickness of the lining of your uterus. A transducer is placed in your vagina that and then the transducer emits sound waves that translate the images on a computer screen.
A periodic check of blood pressure, glucose tolerance, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Screening for depression and anxiety
Screening for obstructive sleep apnea
It is very important for you to talk to your doctor before you start any medication or supplement. You should never hesitate to ask for help and to ask the doctor for alternatives that he or she has prescribed to or suggested to you for the treatment.
Your treatment should be accepted by you, by your body, as well as a doctor, and there should be clear communication between both of you if you find out something is not working out correctly with your body.