Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition in women between the ages of 15 and 45. It affects 10 million women worldwide. According studiesPCOS often causes regularly sporadic periods.
Regular periods occur every 21 to 35 days. But for many women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance can disrupt the monthly cycle of ovulation and menstruation. Therefore, it is essential to know what periods look like with PCOS, as it is not a one-size-fits-all condition.
Although it is a widespread problem, many women are unaware that they have it. The main cause of this syndrome is a hormonal imbalance. However, environmental and genetic factors may also play a role.
Another common misconception is that the condition is unmanageable. However, one can cope with the disease through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – An Overview
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which the ovaries develop many tiny cysts (fluid-filled sacs). However, not all women with this disease have cysts and yet suffer from the symptoms of PCOS, such as changes in hormonal levels.
Factors like genetics, obesityinsulin resistance, high androgen levels and an unhealthy lifestyle increase the risk of PCOS.
Sometimes a woman’s body does not produce enough of the hormones needed for ovulation. When ovulation does not occur, the ovaries may develop many small cysts.
These cysts produce hormones called androgens. Androgens, or male sex hormones, are usually present in women in small amounts. However, when produced in abnormally high amounts by the ovaries, it can worsen a woman’s menstrual cycle problems and cause PCOS. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits are essential in the treatment of PCOS. Although they don’t cure PCOS, they can help reduce symptoms.
PCOS and irregular periods
PCOS can cause irregular periods and sometimes even prevent them from occurring altogether. An “irregular” menstrual cycle corresponds to fewer menstrual cycles per year than the average woman. So while it’s perfectly normal to have your period a day or two late, it could be a sign of PCOS if your period is consistently irregular.
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but anything between 21 and 35 days is considered normal. Cycles that last eight or less per year, or longer than 35 days, are considered irregular periods.
This can delay menstruation by 5 to 6 months. Sometimes there may be regular periods, but with scanty blood flow that lasts only two days. Some women with PCOS go three or more cycles without getting their period.
One of the main reasons people with PCOS are unable to conceive is a condition known as amenorrhea. After all, if there are no periods, no egg is released as part of a menstrual cycle. As a result, ovulation may stop altogether as menstrual cycles lengthen (a condition known as anovulation) or occur infrequently. Also, some PCOS patients have irregular menstrual cycles with stronger or lighter flow.
Regular periods prevent excessive thickness of the uterine lining (uterus). Irregular periods can cause the uterus to fill with abnormal cells. It is essential to have at least four cycles per year to avoid an accumulation of abnormal cells.
Tell your doctor if you have fewer than four periods a year. Tracking your cycle will help you calculate how long it’s been since your last period. Consult a gynecologist so that he can investigate the cause if you find that there is a three-month gap between cycles.
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The average menstrual cycle is usually between 21 and 35 days. However, for a woman with PCOS, the cycle can take three months for a woman with PCOS. Sometimes PCOS can delay periods for 5 or 6 months. Although having your period a day or two late is considered normal, you should still speak to a gynecologist if you experience a three-month gap between cycles.
What can you do to improve it?
Your doctor can help you determine which treatment option will help you the most for irregular periods. Remember that a healthy and active lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do to effectively manage your PCOS.
You can also reduce the severity of some symptoms by losing extra weight. Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can have significant benefits, such as regular menstrual cycles, increased fertility, and lower risk of diabetes.
The anti-androgenic properties of combined oral contraceptive pills lead to monthly bleeding and restore cycle regularity in many women. However, unless you implement appropriate lifestyle changes, previously irregular cycles will return once treatment is over.
Although not all women with PCOS have fertility issues, many have irregular periods. 75-85% of patients with PCOS will have some sort of disruption of the menstrual cycle, resulting in bleeding occurring every three months or less or eight periods or less in a single year. However, there are ways to restore regularity to her periods through medication, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.