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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

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What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common problem thought to affect as many as 1 in 10 women, Patient UK estimates.

The condition is defined by the growth of small cysts around the ovaries. These are egg-containing follicles, which did not develop properly and therefore did not release their eggs. So a typical symptom of PCOS is that the patient does not ovulate. Hormone imbalance, especially an increased level of testosterone, is also associated with the illness.

What causes it?

The exact cause of PCOS is unclear, but certain factors are known to trigger the syndrome, according to the NHS. These include:

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of PCOS include:

In the long run, PCOS can cause blood sugar-related illnesses such as diabetes, as well as high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart disease and endometrial cancer (cancer in the lining of the womb).

How is it treated?

There is no cure for PCOS, but effective treatments are available, including:

Losing weight and leading a healthier lifestyle also go a long way in reducing symptoms.

One celebrity who suffers from PCOS is US TV fitness trainer Jillian Michaels.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

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