Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which women most often experience are irregular menstrual cycles and abnormal hair growth. Apart from that, there are several other symptoms that often occur.
Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs when androgen hormone levels in women exceed normal limits. If left to continue, this condition can cause anxiety disorders, fertility problems, and even uterine cancer.
The main cause of PCOS is still not known for certain. However, insulin resistance is thought to be one of the factors that can worsen the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome can occur in teenage girls when they experience menstruation for the first time. However, this syndrome can also occur after entering adulthood.
In mild cases, this syndrome may not show any symptoms. However, when complaints arise, the following are some symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome that may occur:
1. Irregular menstrual cycle
The most common symptom experienced by sufferers of polycystic ovary syndrome is an irregular menstrual cycle. When a woman experiences PCOS, the production of androgen hormones in her body becomes excessive, thereby disrupting the ovulation process. As a result, the menstrual cycle becomes irregular.
Increased androgen hormones in women can cause prolonged menstruation (menorraghia) or no menstruation at all (amenorrhea). If it occurs in pregnant women, this condition can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
2. Difficulty getting pregnant
Polycystic ovary syndrome is the main cause of fertility problems in women of reproductive age. When experiencing PCOS, several conditions that can interfere with fertility, such as the formation of cysts in the ovaries and thickening of the uterine wall, can occur.
Apart from that, PCOS also disrupts the endocrine system which can cause changes in female reproductive hormone levels, such as the FSH hormone and LH hormone. This condition can disrupt a woman’s fertility, making it difficult to get pregnant.
3. Excess hair growth
The next symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome is excessive hair growth in unnatural areas, such as the face, chest and back. This condition, called hirsutism, can occur due to increased levels of the androgen hormone which stimulates hair growth.
Excess hair growth does not affect the health of PCOS sufferers. However, hirsutism can affect appearance and reduce self-confidence.
4. Uterine cyst
Ovulation is the process of releasing a mature egg from the ovary. However, this may not happen if the hormone levels that support the ovulation process decrease. When ovulation does not occur, the egg cells that are not released can develop and become cysts in the ovaries.
The buildup of cysts makes the ovaries enlarge and cannot function normally. Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome can make the menstrual cycle irregular. However, uterine cysts are not always experienced by PCOS sufferers, and vice versa.
5. Acne appears
The next symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome is related to changes in the androgen hormone in a woman’s body. Apart from triggering hair growth, excess androgen hormones can also stimulate the production of oil glands which can trigger the growth of acne. This condition causes PCOS sufferers to experience severe acne during menstruation.
6. Mood disorders
Some of the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome mostly affect the sufferer’s physical appearance. If it drags on, this condition can make the sufferer experience social pressure which has an impact on self-confidence and mood disorders.
A study reports that PCOS sufferers are more susceptible to anxiety and depression. The reason is because physical changes, such as severe acne, excess hair growth in abnormal areas, and weight gain, can make PCOS sufferers feel like they do not meet beauty standards.
If you experience symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome such as an irregular menstrual cycle for 3 months in a row, or even difficulty getting pregnant for more than 1 year, you should immediately consult a doctor. That way, doctors can carry out appropriate examinations and treatment, including preventing the risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Some of the treatments that doctors can provide include lifestyle changes, prescribing several medications to keep hormone levels stable, and surgery to relieve and treat the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.