Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a syndrome that is more prevalent in this part of the region than others. We do not know the reason, it could be the environment or the lifestyle or a combination of both. Having PCOS has both advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that people with PCOS have a very high ovarian reserve. The disadvantage is that some people with PCOS do not ovulate regularly and will probably need help in conceiving. Other disadvantages are some people could have oily skin and acne while others can have excess hair.
The importance of knowing about PCOS is for the long term. People with PCOS usually have higher risk of developing diabetes and dyslipidemia in the future. This is the importance of awareness and early diagnosis of PCOS. This way patients can modify their diet and lifestyle early on in their lives to decrease their risk of developing these diseases.
To diagnose PCOS you need to have two of the following:
- Anovulation (someone who does not get their period once a month)
- Acne/oily skin or excessive hair
- Ultrasound finding of more than 12 follicles on each ovary measuring 5-9 mm
If you have two of the above visit a reproductive endocrinologist even if you are not attempting conception to learn how this will affect your life and to possibly treat the symptoms (oily skin, acne and hirsutism) if they are bothersome. Also to learn how to modify your diet and lifestyle for the future to decrease your risk of diabetes and heart disease. You will also have to have some laboratory tests for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and some hormones.
By Dr. Ahmad Fakih
Specialist OB/GYN, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility