PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that affects about 10 percent of women of childbearing age. The condition becomes apparent during the late teen years or in the early twenties. PCOS is a common cause of infertility in women. Fortunately, this type of infertility is treatable.
While the specific cause of PCOS is unknown, the condition is believed to occur as a result of hormonal imbalance and metabolic problems. Women with PCOS have higher levels of androgenic hormones than is normal for women. They are also likely to have high insulin levels in their blood. This interferes with their metabolism of food for production of energy. Many women with PCOS develop insulin resistance and are likely to develop type 2 diabetes. They also have a high risk of developing other conditions like high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and endometrial cancer 1. What follows are 10 PCOS symptoms.
Symptom #1: Irregular Periods
A woman with PCOS usually gets irregular periods or doesn’t get them at all. When they get periods, women with PCOS may get 8 or less in a year, while others may get them every three weeks or so. Irregular periods are among the most common PCOS symptoms.
This is the result of hormonal imbalance such that the woman has higher than normal androgenic hormones like testosterone. This leads to growth of cysts within the ovaries, an occurrence that interferes with the release of ova and menstruation. While it is common for girls to experience irregular periods when they start menstruating, if this continues into late teenage and early adulthood, it may be a sign of PCOS.