Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
Advanced Anatomy & Physiology
April 27, 2012
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, abbreviated PCOS, also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome is a condition effecting women. It is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders that affect them. An estimated 7 million women and adolescent girls are affected by PCOS. An immense majority of the U.S. population has no knowledge of PCOS. This majority includes many of the women and adolescent girls who may be affected by it. PCOS has been around and been a diagnosis for over seventy-five years. It is considered a silent killer due to its increased risk for developing problems which early diagnosis is imperative such as insulin resistance, type two diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In order to prevent further health complications females need to be aware of the symptoms, health precautions, and risks for diseases associated with PCOS. Medical management and lifestyle modification are the best ways to treat symptoms because there are no cures for the syndrome.
Keywords: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, PCOS, diabetes, hormones, fertility
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
One out of fifteen women has this condition. What is this condition? Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS for short. PCOS which has also been called Stein-Leventhal Syndrome affects an alarming seven million women with less than fifty percent of them being diagnosed. Seventy percent of women with PCOS have infertility issues due to their difficulty with ovulating. Forty percent of diabetic patients between the ages of twenty and fifty may have PCOS. Women who have PCOS are also carriers for their female offspring and some studies have found there is a fifty percent chance that their daughter will have the condition. Amongst the rain there is sunshine however. Early diagnosis and proper education can help adolescents and women lower the risk factors involved with the condition and live a happy and much healthier life. Symptoms of PCOS
Women with PCOS can display a wide array of symptoms that can sometimes mimic other disease processes. When dealing with the menstrual cycle women may have absent menstrual cycles or irregular cycles. Other prevalent symptoms seen in women with the condition are the development of male sex characteristics such as decreased breast size, deepening of the voice, enlargement of the clitoris, increased body hair on the chest, abdomen, and face as well as around the nipples, and thinning of the hair on the head. Skin changes that occur are acne that gets worse and dark or thick skin markings and creases around the armpits, groin, neck and breast due to insulin sensitivity. Other symptoms of note are sleep apnea, fatigue, pelvic pain, anxiety, depression, decreased sex drive, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, and cysts on the ovaries. It is often misunderstood that a women who gets cysts on her ovaries has the condition. Not all women with ovarian cysts will have PCOS and not all women with PCOS get ovarian cysts. Causes of PCOS
Experts are not entirely certain the cause of PCOS however they believe that there may be several factors involved that could play a role, one of them being genetics. Your chance of having PCOS increases if other women in your family have PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes. It is possible for PCOS to be passed down from mother or father’s side of the family. PCOS is based a lot on the action of hormones. The female sex hormone estrogen and progesterone and the male hormone androgen are all present in the female body in differing amounts. The levels of these hormones affect the development of the eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle. PCOS has an imbalance in the female hormones and an abundance of androgen being made along with other change in other hormone levels. There is a lack of...