Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone disorder that occurs in women of childbearing age. PCOS is characterized by menstrual disorders and excessive levels of male hormones (androgen hormones).

Excessive androgen hormones in PCOS sufferers can cause the ovaries or ovaries to produce many fluid-filled sacs. This condition causes egg cells to not develop properly and fail to be released regularly.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome can also cause sufferers to be infertile  (sterile), and more susceptible to diabetes and high blood pressure.

Causes of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Until now, it is not known exactly what causes PCOS. However, there are several factors that are thought to be related to PCOS, namely:

  • Excess insulin
    hormone Insulin hormone is a hormone that lowers blood sugar levels. Excessive insulin levels cause an increase in androgen hormone production and a decrease in the body's sensitivity to insulin.
  • Genetic factors.
    This is because some PCOS sufferers also have family members who suffer from PCOS.

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome can appear when women experience their first menstruation during puberty. Although PCOS symptoms often appear as teenagers , there are also PCOS sufferers who experience symptoms only as adults or during certain periods, for example when their weight increases significantly.

Following are the symptoms of PCOS:

  • PCOS menstrual disorders are often characterized by irregular or prolonged menstrual periods. For example, PCOS sufferers will only experience menstruation less than 8-9 times in 1 year. The distance between menstruation can be less than 21 days or more than 35 days, or menstrual blood flows profusely.
  • Symptoms due to increased androgen
    levels Raised androgen levels in women with PCOS can cause male-like physical symptoms, such as excessive growth of facial and body hair ( hirsutism ), as well as severe acne and baldness .
  • Multiple ovarian cysts
    In PCOS sufferers, cystic pockets can be found around the eggs (ovaries).
  • Dark skin color
    Some parts of the body with PCOS can darken, especially in the folds, such as the folds of the neck, groin, and under the breasts.

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you have symptoms of PCOS, such as irregular periods. Untreated polycystic ovarian syndrome can make it difficult for sufferers to become pregnant or infertile because the egg cannot be released (no ovulation).

PCOS sufferers who are pregnant are also at risk of having a baby prematurely , having a miscarriage , suffering from high blood pressure, or developing gestational diabetes . Therefore, carry out routine control to the obstetrician during pregnancy so that the health condition of the mother and fetus is monitored.

Diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

The doctor will ask about the patient's symptoms, followed by a physical examination to detect signs of PCOS, such as excessive hair growth or severe acne. The doctor will also examine the female reproductive organs .

After a physical examination, the doctor will carry out a supporting examination which includes:

  • Blood tests, to check androgen levels, blood sugar tolerance tests, and cholesterol levels which are often elevated in PCOS
  • Pelvic ultrasound , to check the thickness of the patient's uterine lining with the help of sound waves

If the patient is confirmed to have PCOS, the doctor will perform a number of other tests to detect complications that may occur due to PCOS.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment

Treatment for PCOS depends on the symptoms the patient is experiencing, such as hirsutism, infertility, or severe acne. The following are methods for dealing with PCOS:

Lifestyle changes

The doctor will suggest exercise and a low-calorie diet to lose weight. This is because the symptoms of PCOS will subside as the patient's weight decreases. In addition, exercise is also useful for increasing the effectiveness of drugs and helping to increase patient fertility.


Doctors can give a combination of birth control pills with other drugs to control the menstrual cycle. The hormones estrogen and progesterone in birth control pills can suppress the production of androgen hormones in the body.

Doctors may also recommend taking the hormone progesterone alone for 10–14 days for 1–2 months. The use of this hormone can regulate disrupted menstrual cycles.

Other medicines that can be used to normalize menstrual cycles and help with ovulation are:

  • Clomiphene
  • Letrozole
  • Metformin

In addition to birth control pills, doctors can give spironolactone drugs to reduce the symptoms of hirsutism due to excess androgen hormones. Spironolactone can counteract the effects of androgens on the skin, namely the growth of thick hair and severe acne.

Special medical procedures

In addition to the several treatment methods above, doctors may recommend patients to do electrolysis to remove body hair. With low currents, electrolysis can destroy hair follicles in a few treatments.

Complications of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Untreated PCOS can put sufferers at risk for the following complications:

  • Sleep disorders
  • eating disorders
  • Anxiety disorders and depression
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Hypertension during pregnancy
  • Diabetes and gestational diabetes
  • Hepatitis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • endometrial cancer

Prevention of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is difficult to prevent, but by maintaining an ideal body weight, the symptoms and risk of complications can be reduced. Here are ways you can do to maintain ideal body weight:

  • Limit consumption of sweet foods
  • Increase consumption of fiber
  • Exercise regularly
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