Increasing number of women in the younger age groups are being detected with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a survey conducted in Mumbai has revealed.
PCOS is a condition in which there is an imbalance of the female sex hormones in a woman, leading to changes in the menstrual cycle, cysts in the ovaries, infertility, and other health problems.
Among the 738 women who were part of the survey, conducted by Metropolis Healthcare, 15.15% in the age group of 21 to 40 years had elevated testosterone levels. This leads to hirsutism — excessive hair growth — in body parts that usually have little or no hair, such as on the face and chest wall.
Further, 20% of the women surveyed face metabolic abnormalities associated with the disorder, the study showed.
Pointing to a trend of more women between 15 and 25 being affected, 28.48% of the 406 samples from the age group showed high levels of testosterone.
“Although it is not known what causes PCOS, factors such as heredity, greater intake of junk food and insulin resistance are reasons known to cause the disorder,” said Dr Sonali Kolte, of Metropolis Healthcare.
Polycystic Ovarian Disease, which is an advanced stage of the syndrome, is most common among women of reproductive age and infertility is one of the most common symptoms. As the symptoms of PCOS are seemingly unrelated to one another, the condition is often overlooked and undiagnosed, doctors said. Major causes of Polycystic Ovarian Disease remain undefined, but factor such as excess insulin, low-grade inflammation or heredity may play a role.
“Early diagnosis is extremely important in PCOS because women can take complete control and charge of their health. If effectively managed, women can undergo a hassle-free fertility phase,” said Kolte.