Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age (Escobar-Morreale, 2018). Women with PCOS may experience irregular menstrual periods, heavy periods, excess hair, difficulty getting pregnant, and patches of thick, darker velvety skin (Crespo et al., 2018). The prevalence of PCOS in sub Saharan Africa ranges between 4-18% (Lentscher et al., 2021).
Signs and symptoms of PCOS
- Menstrual disorders: PCOS mostly produces oligomenorrhea (fewer than nine menstrual periods in a year) or amenorrhea (no menstrual periods for three or more consecutive months), other types of menstrual disorders may also occur.
- Infertility: This generally results directly from lack of ovulation.
- Polycystic ovaries: Ovaries might get enlarged and comprise follicles surrounding the eggs (Teede et al., 2010).
Causes of PCOS
PCOS is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include obesity, a lack of physical exercise, and a family history of someone with the condition (De Leo et al., 2016). PCOS is a heterogeneous disorder of uncertain cause. There is some evidence that it is a genetic disease (Fauser et al., 2011).
Diagnosis and treatment
There is no test to definitively diagnose PCOS. However, pelvic scans, blood tests and ultrasounds can be used to detect abnormalities (Teede et al., 2010). Its treatment focuses on managing individual concerns, such as infertility, hirsutism, acne, or obesity (Sumanta, 2020).
What do you think about this condition? Are women and girls really aware of this condition?