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PCOS is a very common condition caused due to hormonal imbalances. It affects 1 out of 5 women. The majority of women still do not understand the PCOS problem and its symptoms. Therefore, they often overlook this medical condition, which leads to severe health issues.

The first step taken in the PCOS treatment plan is knowing the PCOS signs and symptoms and alleviating them. However, not every woman with PCOS experiences its symptoms yet goes on living a healthy normal life.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

You must notice several signs to understand if you have PCOS. Some of the symptoms of PCOS problem in female are:

(1) Heavy PMS Week

Hunger pangs, mood swings, cramps, and fatigue are common during periods. Women with PCOS can experience high levels of these symptoms, which can be uncontrollable. So, it is better to see a doctor if you experience such heavy symptoms.

(2) Dark Patches on the Skin

Your neck and elbow are darker than any other skin on your body. This can be an effect of insulin resistance and PCOS. The darkening of the skin is called acanthosis nigricans. These patches are usually purple or black in the underarm, neck areas, near the collar bones, around lips, under the eye, and forehead. Also, in several women, PCOS causes excessive dry or oily skin. There are several ways to get rid of dark patches naturally at home – 

  • Improving diet
  • Exfoliate your skin
  • Reduce weight
  • Use coconut oil
  • Check your blood sugar

However, seeing a doctor if you have any signs and symptoms of PCOS is important. 

(3) Irregular Periods

PCOS is caused by the increased androgen level - which as a result, causes irregular periods. If your periods come after or before a 28-30 days gap, you might have PCOS. Also, you must keep note of the blood flow. High androgen levels and a spike in insulin due to PCOS cause this. An irregular period is described as –

  • Eight or fewer menstrual cycles in a year
  • Shorter menstrual cycles
  • A menstrual cycle lasting more than 35 days
  • Delayed period

As the menstrual cycle increases, ovulation stops and rarely occurs. Some women might also experience heavy or light periods. 

(4) Hirsutism

Excess androgen causes hair thinning, bald patches, acne, and hirsutism (excess body and facial hair). It is one of the most apparent signs of PCOS. Hirsutism is stiff and dark body hair that appears in women in areas where it is unlikely for them to grow hair, like - the chest, lower abdomen, face, inner thighs, back, etc. Excess in androgen can also cause deepened voice, decreased breast size, enlargement of the clitoris, etc. 

(5) Difficulty in Conceiving

Difficulty in conceiving is common in women with PCOS. There have been cases where women with PCOS have successfully conceived a baby and had normal childbirth. However, it might sometimes cause a delay in ovulation, leading to infertility. If you are facing difficulty conceiving, see a doctor to confirm the possibility of PCOS.

Can you manage PCOS symptoms?

Now that you know the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome symptoms, you must also know how to manage them for a better lifestyle. Though there is no definite cure, you must take necessary precautions if you have a confirmed diagnosis of PCOS. 

It is better to make some changes in your lifestyle. The best change you can make in your lifestyle is exercising daily for at least 40-50 min a day and including healthy food in your PCOS diet. Some of the food that you can eat with PCOS are –

  • Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are rich in nutrients, low in calories, and have high Vitamin B levels. Vitamin B has been shown to improve PCOS symptoms in many women.
  • Berries (Goji berries, blueberries), nuts, and green tea are antioxidants and great for people suffering from PCOS. 
  • High-fibre foods such as oats, beans, nuts, dried fruits, wholegrain, rice, etc., benefit women with PCOS. These foods release carbohydrates, meaning they release sugar in the blood quickly and are less likely to cause a spike in blood sugar (type 2 diabetes).

Below are the food you must avoid during PCOS –

  • Diary 
  • Unhealthy fats can lead to weight gain.
  • Gluten
  • Soy products

What are the Hormones that affect PCOS symptoms?

Women suffering from PCOS have severe hormonal imbalances that disrupt the menstrual cycle. Some of the hormones given below play an important role in your reproductive part –

  • Luteinizing Hormones
  • Oestrogen
  • Insulin
  • Progesterone
  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Androgen (Testosterone and Androstenedione)

PCOS is a common condition, and the first step toward getting over this medical condition is not to panic. With technological advancement, several treatments are available to reduce the complications and risks of not getting pregnant. A small change in lifestyle and habits can make a huge difference. All you need to do is see a doctor and ensure you take the necessary precautions as instructed by the doctor. Also, even if there are no symptoms of PCOS problems in females, you must see a doctor if anyone in your family has a history of PCOS.

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