Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Get the facts on polycystic ovary syndrome

Published:Monday | May 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMRocheda Bartley

As women, there are many things that we should be aware of. At times these will not concern our wealth or splendour, but more so our health. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder which all females must become familiar with. According to medical experts, one in every 10 female of the childbearing age will develop the incurable, but treatable health problem. Gynaecologist Dr Kiri-an Bridgewater has made it her priority to alert us today on the disorder.

"Polycystic ovarian syndrome is caused by a hormonal imbalance. In this instance, a female will produce high levels of male hormones called androgens," Dr Bridgewater told Flair.

Women with PCOS usually experience counts of missed periods and heavy periods. Also, they tend to have excess weight, grow facial hair and are plagued by severe acne.

Its symptoms at times are mistaken for those associated with other illnesses and are often ignored. "Heavy menstrual periods can also be present in patient with uterine fibroids, and excessive hair can be seen in other conditions that cause elevated levels of male hormones," Dr Bridgewater explained.

 

PCOS AND PREGNANCY

 

PCOS is also said to be one of the most common indicators of infertility in women. But according to Dr Bridgewater, becoming pregnant while living with the hormone disorder is "not impossible".

"While PCOS can make it difficult for a patient to conceive, with the appropriate treatment many women [with the disorder] go on to have as many children as they desire," she said.

 

TREATING PCOS

 

"The first step in managing PCOS is weight loss. The next step would depend on the patient. If the patient is not ready to have children, we can manage the period irregularities with the contraceptive pill. However, if she is desirous of getting pregnant currently, other medications are required," she explained.

The moment you realise you are experiencing these warning signs, Dr Bridgewater implores you to seek medical attention.

Like any other illness, it is best that women with this hormone disorder get the necessary treatment and stay committed to it. Unfortunately, the disorder can lead to other illnesses, some of which are more severe. For instance, endometrial cancer, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are some of the most common diseases that women with PCOS are predisposed to.

"This is why it is important for women with these symptoms to see they gynaecologist to be assessed and treated. Once treated appropriately, the risk of these diseases is significantly reduced," she said.

- Dr Kiri-an Bridgewater can be contacted at the Physicians' Offices at the Andrews Memorial Hospital at 926-7401-3 or 428-5504.