PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and PCO stands for Polycystic Ovaries.
However, PCOS and PCO refer to the same condition, which is characterized by ovaries with more follicles than usual. The ovaries are therefore called polycystic.
During a gynecological ultrasound scan, more than 12 egg sacs are observed in each ovary. The ovaries appear enlarged due to the presence of multiple egg sacs. PCOS is a commonly diagnosed condition in fertility clinics, and it is estimated that around 20% of women of reproductive age have this condition.
The PCO diagnosis is made through a gynecological ultrasound scan.
The PCOS diagnosis is made according to the Rotterdam criteria, where a woman must have at least two out of three symptoms:
- Polycystic ovaries
- Menstrual cycle longer than 35 days or absent periods
- High levels of testosterone in blood tests or increased (male) hair growth upon clinical examination
As part of the PCOS assessment, other hormone disorders are ruled out through blood tests. Testosterone, SHBG, FSH, LH, Prolactin, Estradiol, and AMH are often measured.
Symptoms of PCOS often include menstrual irregularities, overweight or obesity, increased sugar cravings, male-pattern hair growth, acne, and infertility due to lack of ovulation.
For women who desire pregnancy, PCOS can be treated with hormone therapy to induce ovulation. This is often combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF/ICSI).
If pregnancy is not desired, birth control pills can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle.
PCOS can lead to insulin resistance and subsequently diabetes. Some women may benefit from taking Metformin, which is a medication taken orally multiple times a day. It increases insulin sensitivity and lowers insulin production in the body. Reduced insulin levels can sometimes lead to spontaneous ovulation.
You can also improve your insulin sensitivity by avoiding overweight and engaging in regular physical exercise. This reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes while also promoting a more regular menstrual cycle.
It is recommended that you consult your doctor or us for the treatment of PCOS.