What You Need to Know About PCOS

September 1st, 2017

You’ve missed your period again and you’re pretty sure you’re not pregnant. It’s not the first time you’ve had an irregular period and you think it’s probably the stress that’s got your cycle out of sync, so you just brush it off. Sound familiar? Missing a period when you’re not pregnant is not as innocuous as it seems, in fact, it can be a sign of something more serious like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). What is PCOS? PCOS causes ovaries to produce higher than normal levels of male hormones called androgens. It is one of the most common ovarian disorders and cause of infertility, affecting 5 to 15 per cent of Singaporean women of reproductive age. Despite this, there’s shockingly little we really know about PCOS. There isn’t even enough information to diagnose it properly as it manifests differently in everyone. For some women, the symptoms emerge right after they begin menstruating. Others never show any signs, only to receive the diagnosis when they are struggling to get pregnant. Symptoms of PCOS Aside from irregular periods, PCOS also causes a trio of annoying problems: unexplained weight gain, acne, and increased growth in facial or body hair thanks to the high levels of androgen. Think puberty 2.0. The androgens also cause small little cysts to grow on your ovaries. While these cysts are not harmful, it affects your chances of getting pregnant as women who suffer from PCOS tend not to ovulate. If and when they do, the endometrium (lining of the uterus) may not be sufficient to sustain a pregnancy. Despite the skewed odds, Dr Fong Yang, a Fertility Specialist of Virtus Fertility Centre, still remains optimistic about the chances of conceiving naturally with PCOS. “Often, with regular exercise, women can manage their weight, regulate hormones and restore regular periods,” […]

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