What is SOP?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that affects 5% to 10% of women.
Like all syndromes, SOP is a combination of problems that appear together. Not all women with PCOS have all the same symptoms. To be diagnosed with PCOS, a woman must have at least 2 of 3 possible problems: chronic ovulation (anovulation), chronically elevated levels of the hormone testosterone (hyperandrogenism) and ovaries with multiple small cysts that contain (polycystic) ovules .
How is PCOS diagnosed?
As the condition is diagnosed by identifying different problems, the diagnosis should be based on a combination of medical history, a physical examination, sonograms (sonograms) and blood tests.
When examined, women who have PCOS usually complain of menstrual delays, irregular menstrual periods, or very long periods. They may also be overweight, more hair growth (hirsutism), acne or difficulty getting pregnant. On ultrasound, many women with PCOS show ovaries larger than usual with many small cysts. Blood tests can show elevated levels of sugar, cholesterol or male hormones in the blood.
What are the risks for women with PCOS?
Some of the risks are related to irregular ovulation. When ovulation does not occur, the normal hormonal cycle is interrupted and the levels of estrogen are modified, which causes the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to grow and produce abnormal bleeding. Over time, this can cause precancerous changes or cancer of the endometrium. Having an irregular ovulation can also make it difficult for you to get pregnant. Metabolic syndrome is common among women with PCOS. Symptoms include weight gain near the middle of the body, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and diabetes. Each of these symptoms increases the risk of heart disease. Obesity is frequent in women with PCOS.
How is infertility treated in women with PCOS?
One way to treat infertility is to cause ovulation through medication. Clomiphene citrate is administered orally and has often been tried as a first option. Letrozole is another medication that is administered orally and that is particularly useful in patients with PCOS. Many times it is tested as a first option. If this does not work, injectable fertility medications called gonadotropins can be used to stimulate the growth of an egg. Women with PCOS should be carefully observed when these medications are administered, to ensure that they do not have an excessive response, because this increases the risk of multiple pregnancy.
If the woman is overweight, losing weight can help improve ovulation patterns and fertility. Medications that sensitize against insulin, such as metformin, can help the body use insulin more effectively to improve ovulation in certain patients with PCOS. This can also decrease the risk of suffering from diabetes or metabolic syndrome. In vitro fertilization (IVF) can help women with PCOS to become pregnant if other treatments do not work.
How is PCOS treated in women who do not seek pregnancy?
If fertility is not the goal, taking hormone medications usually helps correct the symptoms of PCOS.
Nevertheless, it is important to consult with your doctor if you have any of the symptoms previously shown for the adequate treatment to your specific case.