World PCOS Awareness Month: All you need to know about PCOS and its prevention
September 1 marks the start of the PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) awareness month and this year, it also marks the start of the ‘World PCOS Day of Unity’ event, organised by the PCOS Challenge: The National Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association. PCOS Awareness Month is a federally designated event and its aim is to raise awareness and help improve the lives of those affected by PCOS through overcoming symptoms and changing the lifestyle that leads to PCOS.
“Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a serious genetic, hormone, metabolic and reproductive disorder that affects women and girls,” according to the PCOS Challenge Association. It is a set of symptoms that present themselves in women due to elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) in females.
PCOS occurs due to an amalgamation of genetic and environmental factors, and unfortunately, in the past 7-8 years, the number of people affected by this has increased exponentially, making it a fairly common gynaecological problem in the modern world. 3-4 out of 10 women, leaving room for genetics, suffer from PCOS.
In healthy women, one egg is released from the ovary, somewhere around the 15th day of the period, and with women affected by PCOS, this does not happen. The egg gets trapped inside the ovary and fluid accumulates around it and forms a bubble-like structure called a cyst. Over the course of time, many such cysts are formed which result in PCOS
This health condition presents itself through a combination of various symptoms that include an irregular menstruation cycle, acne, weight gain, unwanted hair growth on parts of the body which previously did not grow hair, excessive hair loss from the scalp, a blackish appearance on the neck and perhaps, the most significant being the difficulty in conceiving or bearing children.
One the biggest contributing factors to PCOS is obesity and the lifestyle that is prevalent in the modern world. Here the consumption of junk food is a common occurrence, exercise is minimal and stress levels are high. Even lack of regular sleep contributes to the development of PCOS in women. Family tendencies also play a major role, and if you have a mother or sister or relative who is suffering from PCOS, it increases the likelihood of you getting affected as well.
The easiest way to reverse the cycle on PCOS is to get at least an hours’ worth of exercise in a day and a diet that is rich in proteins and cuts down on sugars and carbohydrates. A minimum of eight-hours of sleep every night is also essential in maintaining a healthy body, especially in the long run.