What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which a woman’s hormones go out of balance and may cause some changes in your looks such as unwanted hair growth and acne. It can cause problems with the periods and hence lead to Infertility. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. PCOS is common, affecting as many as 1 out of 10 women. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Approximately five to ten percent of women of childbearing age have PCOS. Most women with PCOS don’t even know that they have it. Most women do not get a diagnosis until they begin trying to get pregnant. Some of the symptoms of PCOS may be overlooked until a woman starts trying to conceive a baby. Causes Poor intake of iron in diet. Iron is needed to make red blood cells. When women loose blood, they also loose iron. This happens in pregnancy due to the fact that the woman must supply iron to both herself and her baby. Iron is replaced by vitamin supplements or in the diet. Folic acid deficiency. Folic acid is a Vitamin B, which is needed to produce red blood cells. Chronic illness Blood Loss from bleeding hemorrhoids or gastrointestinal bleeding Even if iron and folic acid intake are sufficient, a pregnant woman may become anemic because pregnancy alters the digestive process. The unborn child consumes some of the iron or folic acid normally available to the mother’s body. What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms are: Thinning hair on the scalp. Acne Depression Weight gain and trouble losing weight. Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker and darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back. Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding. Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility). Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. That is why it is called polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances.
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