Hooria Riyaz Malik
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an embarrassing topic, that most girls do not want to talk about.
Most women don’t know what exactly this syndrome is. PCOS is basically a hormonal disorder that causes the ovaries to become large with a small pearl-like cyst on the outer edges.
It is a common condition in women of childbearing age. Ovulation happens when a mature egg is released from an ovary.
This happens so that it can be fertilized by a male sperm. If the egg is not fertilized, it is sent out of the body during the menstrual cycle or we can call it periods. In some cases, a woman doesn’t make enough eggs to fertilize as the ovaries make cyst-like sacs that are filled with fluid.
These cysts like structures which are at the outer edge of the ovaries make a male hormone called androgen. These androgen hormones are already present in the female body in small quantities.
However, a girl or woman with the syndrome has a high chance of having androgen hormone which leads to the problem during ovulation.
It is a chronic disorder that can last forever or maybe for years.
Most women are diagnosed during their 20s or 30s, but PCOS may affect girls as young as 11, who haven’t even had their first menstrual period. Unfortunately, doctors do not know the exact cause of this syndrome.
But, there are some of the symptoms where we can witness the disorder which includes the missed or irregular or very light menstrual cycle, extra facial hair, acne, and dark patches on the back of the neck and armpits.
Obesity is one of the main causes of PCOD. Most of the women having the syndrome have insulin resistance which means the body cannot use insulin well.
The treatments include birth control pills to regulate menstrual periods, and diabetic medication, which can help to improve diabetes in PCOS cases. A self-care system is also there to treat the syndrome which includes a maximum of 30 to 60 minutes of exercise on a daily basis.
Healthy homemade food, salads which include green vegetables and fruit pulses, and dry fruits should be taken because most teenagers tend to eat fast, street and junk food including soft drinks at a very high rate due to which they forget to eat healthy home-cooked food.
As it is the main and the serious problem among the new generation of our country, all should have awareness of it. There is a well-known saying: ‘Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, instead of taking risks, it is better to take good care of your life as well as your body.
It is pertinent to mention that September 1 is denoted as the World PCOS day of unity to make every woman aware of the consequences of the disorder. It is one of the most underdiagnosed disorders in the world with less than 25% of women with PCOS being diagnosed.
PCOS affects between 8% and 20% of reproductive-age women worldwide.
As there is no universal definition of PCOS, the exact number of women with PCOS is unknown. The goal of this day is to encourage countries, states, territories, and localities to make PCOS a local priority.
All the women with acne should be considered for underlying PCOS and asked about their menstrual pattern and examined for other signs of hyperandrogenism.
Those who have menstrual disturbances should go for hormonal profile determination as well as pelvic ultrasonography for ovarian visualization.
Early diagnosis and treatment can avoid possible complications in the future. This is important because only a woman cuts her womb to give life to a new one, a new generation.
(Author is a student of the Department of Functional English, Government College for Women, MA Road, Srinagar)