According to experts, one in five women can suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS, which means, there may be several women around you at the risk of problems ranging from menstrual irregularities to complications in pregnancy. Gynecologists stress the importance of a healthy diet, exercise, and maintaining optimum weight to battle the condition.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal disorder in reproductive-age women. It is common in women with infertility problems.
“Women suffer from PCOS due to excessive androgen production which is a male like a hormone and inefficiency of insulin hormone to process sugars. This gets triggered by stress, sedentary lifestyle and excessive carbohydrate and trans fats based diets, and indiscriminate use of hormones. It can be heredity and is more prevalent in Asian ethnicity. The ovaries produce abnormally high levels of androgen, causing hirsutism and acne. Women having PCOS may suffer from diabetes, heart, and blood vessel problems. Irregular menses and having polycystic ovaries can be the signs of it” highlights Dr. Girija Wagh, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Pune.
“Add fiber to your diet to lower the insulin levels and enhance the health of your gut. Eat seeds, berries, legumes, flax seeds, and whole grains. Opt for grilled chicken, salmon, fish, beans, tofu, shrimp, and tuna. Try avocado, quinoa, brown rice, kale, and spinach. Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of type-2 diabetes. A low-GI diet can help in weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity. Eat nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and low-carbohydrate foods. Avoid sweets, processed foods, saturated and trans fats. Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce acne or hair growth and help you with PCOS,” said Dr. Wagh.
“Of all women in the reproductive age 18 to 35 years, 15-20 percent suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). While younger women age 15 years to 25 years, 25 percent may suffer from irregular periods, experience hirsutism (unwanted male-pattern hair growth), and obesity, in the slightly older age group, it may lead to infertility, risk of miscarriages, and pregnancy complications. Conceiving a baby and maintaining a pregnancy can be difficult with PCOS. Around every third woman who comes to seek help from a fertility expert, has a PCOS problem. It is also common in women suffering from obesity. An ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 but when one is obese, the BMI goes over 27-28 and this becomes worrisome. PCOS is a lifelong health condition but one can manage it with healthy eating habits, physical activity, and weight loss,” explained Dr. Bharati Dhorepatil, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Pune.
Dr. Dhorepatil added, “Older women suffering from PCOS may take a long time to get pregnant compare to other women. Being overweight reduces fertility and can contribute to women with PCOS taking longer to conceive. Fertility treatment can be helpful for women who want to embrace motherhood. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is one of the types of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that is given using a combination of medicines and surgical procedures in order to get pregnant.”
Women with PCOS should consult an IVF expert and choose the right treatment accordingly.