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In recent times on social media platforms like Twitter, there have been ongoing discussions about PCOS, PCOS management and what it is. If you have heard about this term and wondered what it is and its effect on women, you should read this post.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of PCOS globally is between 4% and 20% with 116 million affected. While in Nigeria, PCOS affects women of reproductive age as data shows 1 in 6 infertile women and has an estimated prevalence rate of 13.8% and 18.1%.
PCOS is a complex endocrine disorder that affects women of reproductive age. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. PCOS is more common in women who are overweight or obese, and it is also more common in women of certain ethnic groups, such as Hispanic and African American women.
PCOS is characterized by a combination of symptoms, including irregular periods, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, acne, and excessive hair growth. While PCOS is a lifelong condition, various strategies, and treatments are available to help manage its related symptoms and improve the overall quality of life. Treatment options for PCOS include lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and eating a healthy diet, and medication, such as birth control pills and insulin sensitizers. In this blog post, we will explore effective approaches to managing PCOS-related symptoms, especially as a Nigerian woman.
Regular monitoring and follow-up with healthcare professionals are crucial in PCOS management. Routine check-ups with your preferred practitioner allow for the evaluation of symptom progression and adjustment of treatment plans when necessary. Monitoring hormone levels, lipid profiles, and glucose tolerance can help identify potential complications of PCOS, such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, allowing for early intervention and prevention of long-term health issues.
A significant aspect of PCOS management involves adopting a healthy lifestyle. Research has shown that weight loss through diet and exercise can have a positive impact on PCOS symptoms. Research also shows that losing just 5-10% of body weight can restore ovulation, regulate menstrual cycles, and improve insulin sensitivity in women with PCOS. Implementing a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help stabilize blood sugar levels and manage weight.
Maintaining a healthy diet rich in fruits like oranges, strawberries, and raspberries, and vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, whole grains, and lean proteins while minimizing the consumption of processed foods and sugary snacks may help reduce the severity. Additionally, dermatological treatments such as topical retinoids, antibiotics, and hormonal therapies like oral contraceptives can be prescribed to target health-related issues.
Anovulatory infertility is a common consequence of PCOS, and the incidence of PCOS in women with anovulatory infertility is higher at 70% to 80%. PCOS affects 5-10% of women in their reproductive age, and most women who are affected often face challenges when trying to get pregnant. However, several fertility treatments can improve the chances of pregnancy. Ovulation induction with medications such as clomiphene citrate or letrozole are often administered for inducing ovulation in women with PCOS. In more complex cases, assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be considered.
Medications are an important part of managing PCOS-related symptoms, and in certain cases, medications may be prescribed to manage specific PCOS symptoms. Oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are medications used to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce androgen levels, which can help manage PCOS symptoms like acne and hirsutism (excessive hair growth). OCPs can also help to manage bone density, heavy bleeding, and other related challenges. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable medication and dosage for individual needs. You can reach out to a medical professional anywhere and at any time in Nigeria on the DRO Health app here.
PCOS can have a significant impact on a woman’s emotional and mental health due to the hormonal imbalances and physical symptoms associated with the condition. Research shows that women with PCOS found that psychological interventions, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, resulted in significant reductions in depression, anxiety, and body dissatisfaction. However, psychological support, such as counseling or therapy, can help individuals cope with the emotional challenges that affect them. For psychological support, we have professional therapists you can speak to at any time when you download the DRO Health app on your mobile device.
Ready to take control of your PCOS symptoms? Speak to an experienced Gynecologist today on the DRO Health app. Get personalized guidance and treatment options for effective PCOS management. Download the app now and start your journey toward better health! Visit our website for more information.
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