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Is PCOS a gynaecological or an endocrinological disorder?

Since many of the symptoms involve a woman’s reproductive system, PCOS is often mistaken for a gynaecological disorder. It is, however, a disorder of the endocrine system involving hormones and hormone production. Therefore, a specialist in the endocrine system, such as a reproductive endocrinologist, should be consulted to confirm the diagnosis.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

Diagnosis requires obtaining blood samples for a variety of hormones. A full physical examination and screening for cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, and insulin should also be part of a complete evaluation. USG of lower abdomen and pelvis also helps to detect PCOS.

Is there a treatment for PCOS?

Yes. At present, doctors can only treat the individual symptoms of women with PCOS, rather than the entire syndrome. Once diagnosed, most patients can effectively manage their symptoms to help lead healthier and more satisfying lives. Dietary changes with lifestyle modifications can help a lot.

What effect can weight loss have on women with PCOS?

Weight loss alone often regulates the menstrual cycle and even a small loss of 4-6 kgs can be helpful in making the menstrual cycle more regular. Weight loss has also been found to improve cholesterol and insulin levels, and relieve symptoms such as excess hair growth and acne too.

What can be done to increase the chances of pregnancy for women with PCOS?

Successful ovulation is the first step towards pregnancy. Weight loss often helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, thereby leading to successful ovulation. This, along with dietary rich vitamins and anti-oxidant supplements, can increase the chances of pregnancy for women with PCOS.

Why is public awareness of PCOS so critical?

The symptoms of PCOS can vary from one woman to other; therefore, a woman does not often realise she has it. Public information and awareness about the symptoms and serious nature of the condition are crucial to identify women in need of treatment and for women to make informed decisions about their health.