Science

September is the PCOS awareness month - Here’s all you need to know

Monika Yadav New Delhi | Updated on September 20, 2021

As per estimates, about 20 per cent of women between 15-40 age group are suffering from PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder in women which may cause irregular periods and problems in conceiving. In PCOS patients, multiple small cysts on the ovaries are seen in an ultrasound and other symptoms include acne, facial hair growth and hair loss. As per estimates, about 20 per cent of women between 15-40 age group are suffering from PCOS. September is a PCOS awareness month and as per the recent survey done by OZiva with 2,800 respondents pan India, 65 per cent of women in India are unaware of PCOS symptoms, while 35 per cent of women have never spoken about their condition (PCOS) to anyone.

“We get several cases of infertility where the main cause was an unchecked growth of polycystic ovaries. Women must be made aware of the symptoms, causes and treatments of PCOS. Some common symptoms of PCOS include sleep apnea, acne, oily skin, and dandruff, pelvic pain, dark pigmentation of skin around the neck, depression and anxiety, rapid weight gain or difficulty in losing weight,” Dr Gauri Agarwal founder & fertility expert at Seeds of Innocence & Genestrings Diagnostics said.

Causes

According to Dr Uma Vaidyanathan, Senior Consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, a major shift from traditional way of living to western lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and excessive intake of coffee, tea and carbonated drinks throughout the day are the major factors behind PCOS. It can also be caused due to hereditary reasons.

“When you have fibre-rich food like fruits and veggies, you get the feeling of fullness. So you don't indulge in overeating,” Vaidyanathan said while further adding that outside food lacks fibre and nutrition resulting in excessive weight. Women with PCOS have fat on their upper shoulders, abdomen and hips, which is more of a male pattern fat distribution. She added that this fat harbours lot of male hormones (testosterone) which creates hurdles in ovulation to take place.

Meanwhile, she further said that PCOS has been found in lean women also and the main reason behind that is poor lifestyle and stress.

Treatment

“The treatment for PCOS is curative. However, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables and participating in regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce chances of PCOS. Birth control pills can also help regulate hormones and menstruation,” Dr Agarwal said.

Meanwhile, Dr Vaidyanathan said there is no treatment for PCOD as such but adopting a good lifestyle can help reversing it.

“Sleeping and waking up on time is very important. Having a strict diet on right time is a must,” she further added.

Meals should be divided into smaller meals over the day so that binge eating could be prevented. There is no medicine for this syndrome, as per experts.

“Yoga is very helpful in PCOD. The yoga asanas help in burning fat around pelvic area, abdominal and hip area. It also helps in balancing the hormones by calming the mind,” Vaidyanathan said.

“With clean holistic living that comprises a plant-based diet and a healthy lifestyle, PCOS and its symptoms can be managed. Over the past few years, we have helped more than thousands of women successfully manage symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain etc using clean, plant based nutrition and following a healthy lifestyle. Educating women and men about this can definitely improve the quality of living for PCOS warriors and help them overcome the fear of speaking up and getting help when needed,” Aarti Gill, Co-founder, OZiva, said.

Published on September 20, 2021

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