Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which woman’s level of sex hormones are out of balance leading to the growth of small cysts over their ovaries. It can cause various problems like irregular or lack of menstrual cycles, irregular or no ovulation, reduced fertility, hirsutism, acne, rapid weight gain etc. Some of the symptoms of PCOS can affect a woman’s appearance and self esteem too.
PCOS affects millions of women throughout the world, although the prevalence is much higher in women with South Asian origin. It is one of leading causes of infertility in women. Keeping a positive attitude and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help overcome the symptoms caused by PCOS.
Here are top 10 tips to cope up with PCOS:
- Educate yourself about PCOS.
Sometimes it might happen that you don’t understand what is happening in your body and that can affect your overall health. Not all women with PCOS experience same changes and symptoms. Read and discuss with your health care provider about PCOS. You may feel better knowing that there are many other women suffering from PCOS. Educating yourself makes it easier to cope up with the condition.
- Eat a balanced diet.
Adapt healthy eating habits. Choose food items rich in fibres and low in sugar. Balance your carbohydrate food with proteins and healthy fats. Eat small meals and healthy snacks instead of three large meals.
- Fit exercise in your daily routine.
Good nutrition is important, but it isn’t enough. Plan to get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. Exercise boosts metabolism and burns calories which in turn helps in weight loss. It even helps to keep diabetes at bay, a health risk for women with PCOS.
- Medications for improving insulin sensitivity.
Metformin is used to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce body weight, decrease the release of male hormones and make periods regular by improving ovulation.
- Hormonal treatment.
Lack of ovulation is usually the reason for fertility problems, in women with PCOS. Several medications are available that can stimulate ovulation in women with PCOS to get pregnant. For women who don’t want to get pregnant, oral contraceptive pills helps to control menstrual cycles.
- Avoid coffee and quit smoking.
Coffee is a stimulant which increases insulin production and can have adverse impact on women with PCOS. If you smoke, consider quitting. Women who smoke have higher levels of androgens than women who don’t. This may contribute to PCOS symptoms.
- Treatment for Acne and Hirsutism (Facial hair growth).
Creams and lotions are available for acne. The various methods of removing unwanted hair include waxing, shaving, plucking, bleaching, depilatory creams, electrolysis, laser treatment and newer treatments using pulsed light. Even hormonal treatment help to deal with acne and hirsutism.
- Meet a specialist.
Most of the young women require treatment for PCOS along with good nutrition and exercise. Discuss your symptoms and changes in the body and get your doubts cleared.
- Regular check up.
Regular check up and investigations would help to know whether the treatment is working and to adjust it if required. It can also help to rule out diabetes, high blood pressure or other serious problems resulting from PCOS.
10. Be positive.
Women with PCOS often experience depression and mood swings. When you feel yourself getting affected by your physical features like obesity, acne hirsutism pamper yourself. Go out meet your friends. Get yourself engaged in your hobbies. Meditation and yoga will also help a lot.