The acknowledgement that polycystic ovaries can lead to diabetes and heart diseases is really scary.
More than 20 million women around the world have the polycystic ovaries syndrome which appears when the excess of insulin causes an increased production of androgen (the male hormone).
It’s the most common hormonal disorder that women have in their reproductive period and it’s being estimated that half of them don’t even know that they have it.
It’s really scary if you consider that this syndrome is connected to the appearance of diabetes and heart diseases.
That’s why it’s extremely important to recognize the symptoms which can vary from woman to woman, but these are some of the most common:
- IRREGULAR MENSTRUAL CYCLE
Women who have the polycystic ovaries syndrome have an increased level of androgen that can slow down the work of their ovaries and cause problems during the process of ovulation.
When the ovulation is prevented, the menstrual cycle will be late and in some cases it won’t even appear.
- FERTILITY PROBLEMS
The polycystic ovaries are the most common reason for infertility in women. The process of conceiving a baby becomes more difficult because of many reasons:
If the process of ovulation is irregular, the doctors can’t estimate precisely when the women is the most fertile. Considering the fact that the cycle is irregular, there are also some smaller periods of fertility.
Women with polycystic ovaries also have problems with the quality of their ovaries, because of the inflammation, as well as the hormonal change.
- HAIR GROWTH IN UNWANTED AREAS
The excessive amount of male hormones can lead to hirsutism e.g. hair growth in areas that are unusual for men, but not for women and some of them are: the face, chest, stomach, back, fingers and toes.
This hair is usually rough, so its removal can definitely cause pain and stress.
It’s being estimated that about 90% of the women with hirsutism also have the polycystic ovaries syndrome.
- HAIR LOSS
The male hormone called testosterone is “responsible” for hair loss, which is another common problem in women who have the polycystic ovaries syndrome.
The testosterone turns into a strong androgen (also familiar as DHT) which is the death enemy of the hair follicles. It decreases them and destroys them, so that’s why the hair enters a phase of rest and soon starts to fall down.
- ACNE AND OTHER SKIN PROBLEMS
The increased level of androgen also causes an increased production of fats, which can lead to many skin problems, including dandruff and acne.
Two signs can show that the acne are caused by polycystic ovaries: the acne are down the jawline and are resistant to many strong medicines (or appear immediately after the treatment). The second sign is acanthosis and skin seals – which are due to the insulin resistance.
Acanthosis is a dark change of the skin color which mostly appears behind the neck, on the armpits and from the inner side of the knees.
The skin may look dirty, but it can’t be washed. The skin seals are small signs with the color of flesh that mostly appear on the neck, chest and on the armpits.
- GAINING WEIGHT IN THE BELLY AREA
Women who have the polycystic ovaries syndrome have the tendency to gain weight very fast and the loss of that weight represents “a mission impossible” for them.
That happens because of the insulin and leptin resistance. The insulin resistance makes your body store fats easily and the leptin resistance makes your brain think that you’re in a starvation mode.
The insulin resistance makes the fats deposit on the stomach and this type of fat deposits is the riskiest factor when it comes to the work of the heart.
- PROBLEMS WITH SLEEPING
The syndrome of polycystic ovaries is strongly connected with apnea, a potentially dangerous conditions characterized by a constant stop of the process of breathing during the sleep.
Apnea can lead to a high blood pressure, heart problems, obesity and mood swings. The signs that show you have apnea are: very loud snoring and feeling of tiredness immediately after you wake up.
Although the term “polycystic ovaries” understands that the ovarian cysts are the terminal “result”, they are still not a necessary factor.
It’s important to know that the cysts in this syndrome are not the typical ovarian cysts, but they’re actually a partially developed follicles where the egg cells live until they’re “released” during the process of ovulation.
Young women have these small cysts, while the elder ones don’t have them that often. During the ultrasound, they are mostly described as “several small follicles”.