Let me be very straight here. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is very common these days and usually develops at the reproductive age, i.e., in the 20s or 30s. The symptoms, in many cases, are clear, but in other cases, the symptoms remain hidden and are less obvious. But when a woman is having trouble getting pregnant, it becomes evident that the cause is PCOS.
Moreover, the symptoms of PCOS can start immediately after getting the first menstrual period, as young as age 11 or 12. So, we can say that there is no exact age when the condition of PCOS progresses unless symptoms become evident.
The body of every individual is composed uniquely, and thus, the onset of the condition is also different for every individual.
Now, to identify PCOS, you have to notice some common symptoms of PCOS like,
- Irregular periods or no periods, which are caused by a lack of ovulation
2. Male hormone levels are higher than average and can cause acne, thinning hair on the scalp, and abundant facial and body hair.
3. Gaining weight, being obese, or having trouble staying at a healthy weight, particularly when the excess weight is focused around the waist.
4. Insulin resistance, which is indicated by darker, thicker skin around the breasts, armpits, or neck (acanthosis nigricans).
5. Diabetes mellitus, excessive cholesterol, or high blood pressure (high blood sugar levels)
6. As the name suggests, PCOS, i.e., multiple cysts are formed on the ovaries, which can be tested by sonography.
What happens in PCOS?
The release and development of eggs may be hampered by the elevated levels of androgens that occur in PCOS. Sometimes cysts (small sacs filled with fluids) develop in place of the eggs. The cysts then grow inside the ovaries during ovulation rather than being expelled like an egg would during a regular cycle. Ovaries with polycystic cysts may grow. Many women with PCOS experience irregular or skipped periods because they may not be ovulating or releasing an egg every month.
What causes PCOS?
1. High androgen levels: All women produce modest levels of androgens. They are commonly referred to as “male hormones.” Androgens regulate the emergence of masculine characteristics like male pattern baldness. More androgens than usual are present in women with PCOS. In addition to causing excessive hair growth and acne, which are two symptoms of PCOS, higher than normal androgen levels in women might hinder the ovaries from producing an egg (ovulation) throughout each menstrual cycle.
2. High insulin levels: A hormone called insulin regulates the process by which food is converted into energy. When the body’s cells do not react to insulin as they should, it is known as insulin resistance. As a result, there is a rise in the insulin blood levels in the body. Insulin resistance is common in women with PCOS, especially those who are overweight or obese, practice bad eating habits, get insufficient exercise, or have a family history of diabetes (usually, type 2 diabetes). Insulin resistance can eventually result in type 2 diabetes.
Now, when females are at an early stage of getting PCOS (age 12 or 13), it may be the cause of gestational diabetes. It is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. This may lead to insulin resistance in the girl child born, and consequently to PCOS.
The next question is, when will PCOS go away? Will PCOS symptoms go away at menopause?
Tricky questions and answers may be ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Numerous bodily systems are impacted by PCOS. As menopause approaches, many PCOS sufferers notice that their menstrual cycles become more regular. Age does not affect the hormonal imbalance that causes PCOS, so they could still experience its effects.
Additionally, as people age, their chances of developing PCOS-related health issues like diabetes, stroke, and heart attack rise.
If nothing goes away, then what is the way out of PCOS? How can you manage your PCOS symptoms?
The biggest game is played by weight. It is associated with insulin levels and also hormonal imbalances. PCOS-related symptoms can be reduced with a healthy diet and frequent exercise. Your blood glucose levels may drop, your body’s ability to use insulin will likely improve, and your hormone levels may return to normal with weight loss. Your menstrual cycle can become more regular and your chances of getting pregnant can increase with even a 10% body weight drop (for instance, a 70 kg woman shedding 7 kg).
Let’s Wrap Up
PCOS is not related to age. It can come at any stage of adolescence or reproductive age. It may persist as long as the symptoms aren’t managed. Now here, if you want my personal view on this, I would suggest you manage the symptoms of PCOS in a natural way.
I have been an ayurvedic health practitioner for the past 15+ years and have been looking at the progress of women, specifically in the case of PCOS, which happens to 1 in every 5 females across the world. Indulging a healthy diet, exercising regularly, understanding body needs, and stabilizing humors of the body, help regulate the condition of PCOS.
To get in touch with me, you can book a consultation call at eliteayurveda.com, and together we shall bring balance and your self-esteem back!