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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Your Guide to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

<div>It is an endocrine-metabolic-reproductive disorder linked to hormonal imbalance, and is a leading cause of infertility in women. In PCOS, ovaries develop numerous small fluid-filled sacs called follicles, and fail to regularly release eggs. This may result in irregular menstrual cycle, which can lead to infertility, and development of cysts in the ovaries.</div><div>
</div><div>The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. However, multiple factors can tribute to its development, including heredity, low grade inflammation and insulin resistance. </div><div>
</div><div><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><strong>Women at Risk of PCOS</strong></span></div><div>Women in their reproductive years are affected by PCOS. It is usually diagnosed after puberty, when women are between the ages of 20 and 30 years. Those women who are overweight or have a family history are at a higher risk of getting PCOS.</div><div>
</div><div><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><strong>Complications </strong></span></div><div>Complications from PCOS may include: </div><div><ul><li>Difficulty in conceiving </li><li>Abnormal Uterine bleeding </li><li>Miscarriage or premature birth</li><li>Gestational Diabetes Mellitus or high blood glucose during pregnancy.  </li></ul></div><div>
</div><div><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><strong>Symptoms</strong></span></div><div>If you experience any of the following, please consult your Gynaecologist immediately. </div><div><ul><li><strong>Irregular menstrual cycle:</strong> 8 or fewer menstrual cycles in a year, cycle of more than 35 days or erratic bleeding including heavy periods. </li><li><strong>Hirsutism:</strong> Too much hair growth over face, chin, or parts of body where usually men have hair.</li><li><strong>Acne</strong> on the face, chest, and upper back </li><li><strong>Hair Thinning or hair loss</strong> on the scalp, similar to baldness in men</li></ul></div><div>Since these symptoms may occur due to other endocrine conditions too, it is mandatory to rule out those disorders to diagnose PCOS.
</div><div><strong style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;">Diagnosis</span></strong></div><div>Although there is no test to diagnose PCOS, your doctor will conduct the following exams:</div><div><ul><li><strong>Physical Exam:</strong> discussion about your menstrual periods, changes in weight, excess hair growth, insulin resistance and acne.</li><li><strong>Pelvic Exam</strong>
</li><li><strong>Blood Tests:</strong> recommend to measure hormone levels, glucose tolerance and others, as deemed appropriate. </li><li><strong>Ultrasound:</strong> to examine your ovaries and thickness of uterine lining. </li></ul></div><div>
</div><div><strong style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;">Treatment</span></strong></div><div>Your doctor will discuss the management of each of the concerns, including infertility / conceiving, hirsutism, acne and / or obesity. It may be a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. Consult your doctor for detailed information.</div><div>
</div><div><strong style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;">Food to be Included in Your Diet</span></strong></div><div>High-fiber foods can help combat insulin resistance by slowing down digestion. This may be beneficial to women with PCOS.</div><div><strong>High-fiber foods include:</strong></div><div><ul><li>Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage</li><li>Leafy Greens / lettuce, green and red peppers</li><li>Beans, lentils and Pastas</li><li>Almonds and other nuts</li><li>Whole wheat flour</li><li>Lean protein sources like chicken, and fish don’t provide fiber but are very filling and a healthy dietary option </li></ul></div><div>
</div><div><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><strong>Food to be Avoided</strong></span></div><div>Refined carbohydrates may cause inflammation, insulin resistance, and should be avoided significantly. These include highly-processed foods, such as:</div><div><ul><li>White bread</li><li>Muffins, pastries, Sugary desserts</li><li>Anything made with white flour</li><li>Pasta noodles that list semolina, durum flour, or durum wheat flour as their first ingredient are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. </li><li>inflammation-causing foods, such as fries, margarine, and red or processed meats </li></ul></div><div>Sugar is a carbohydrate and should be avoided wherever possible. When reading food labels, be sure to look for various names of sugar such as, Sucrose, High fructose corn syrup, and Dextrose.
</div><div><strong style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000;">Visiting a Doctor</span></strong></div><div>If you are experiencing irregular menstrual periods, problems conceiving, excessive hair growth, and / or weight gain, please visit your doctor for immediate disease management plan. </div><div>
</div><div><span style="color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none solid #cc0000; font-size: 17.3333px;"><strong>Facilities Available at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) </strong></span></div><div>At AKUH, we provide:
</div><div><ul><li>Consultation with our Gynaecologist, Endocrinologist and Nutritionist experts</li><li>Specialized laboratory package for PCOS</li><li>Fertility treatment, excluding IVF</li><li>Advance testing and diagnostic services for accurate reliable treatment plan. </li></ul></div>
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