Polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting a woman’s reproductive organs. There are three main symptoms, of which all sufferers have at least two and some have all three. The symptoms are:
- Cysts developing on the ovaries
- A change in the balance of hormones in the ovaries – in particular excessive amounts of testosterone, the male hormone
- Not ovulating every month or, in the case of some sufferers, not ovulating at all
These symptoms manifest themselves in different ways for different women, but in addition to irregular ovulation, sufferers may experience:
Irregular or absent periods, infertility, excess facial hair, alopecia, oily skin, insulin resistance plus associated weight problems, and depression.
There is a strong link between weight and PCOS, and this seems to be because women with PCOS find it more difficult to use insulin, which helps to convert sugar and starches into energy. Excess insulin also increases male hormones, which means that the weight gain is usually abdominal rather than around the hips and bottom. This tendency combined with high levels of insulin means that women with PCOS can be at long-term risk from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These risks are greater for women who are overweight or obese, but can be mitigated by weight loss, good nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes.
- You have a continual struggle to lose weight.
- You have irregular periods or possibly no periods.
- You have noticed thinning hair.
- You suffer from distressing body and facial hair growth.
- You have difficulties getting pregnant.
HOW WEIGHTMATTERS CAN HELP
Our private doctor can take a detailed medical history and advice whether you may be suffering from PCOS. Referral to a specialist for further management will be made if necessary.
Our dietician will help put a sensible eating plan in place alongside other lifestyle changes and medication. This plan will ensure balanced nutrition to help reduce weight, control blood sugar levels, alleviate symptoms and minimize health risks.
PCOS is treatable, but as yet there is no cure. Coming to terms with the long-term impacts of the condition may be difficult, in particular dealing with the reality of infertility. In this situation, our therapists can provide a source of support to help you deal with anxiety, depression or low self-esteem.
Regular massage treatments can help regulate hormone levels and alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. Manual lymphatic drainage is recommended with gentle abdominal massage.