The Ultimate Guide on PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): Part 3
What can I do to reduce long-term health risks?
Have a healthy lifestyle!!!!
- Have a healthy, balanced diet - This should include fruit, vegetables, whole foods (such as wholemeal bread, whole grain cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta), lean meat, fish, chicken. You should also minimize intake of sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol.
- Eat meals regularly especially including breakfast
- Exercise regularly (30 minutes at least three times a week)
- Consult a nutritionist
The benefits of losing weight include:
- Lowers risk of insulin resistance and developing diabetes
- Lowers risk of heart problems
- Lowers risk of cancer of the uterus (Endometrium)
- More regular periods
- Increases chance of becoming pregnant
- Reduction in acne and a decrease in excess hair growth over time
- Improved mood and self-esteem.
Once you know that you have PCOS, you need to go for regular health check-ups to check for any early signs of health problems.
If you have not had a period for a long time (over 4 months), it is advisable to see your doctor. You may be asked to undertake further tests which may include an ultrasound scan.
Is there a cure?
There is no cure for PCOS. Medical treatments aim to manage and reduce the symptoms or consequences of having PCOS. Medication alone has not been shown to be any better than healthy lifestyle changes (weight loss and exercise). Many women with PCOS successfully manage their symptoms and long-term health risks without medical intervention, just by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Fertility Management – in PCO
- Weight Reduction – 5 percent reduction in your weight will help you regain spontaneous ovulation
- Keep records of menstrual periods and monitor ovulation - To improve the chances of conception, ovulation needs to be monitored and sexual intercourse timed to coincide around ovulation.
To help improve the chance of becoming pregnant, watch for the following signs that ovulation is occurring or about to occur:
1. Mucus changes: Around the time of ovulation a woman may notice her vagina's mucus is slick and slippery.
2. Abdominal pain: Some women experience pain during ovulation. This pain may be general or on one side of the abdomen.
3. Premenstrual symptoms
- Breast tenderness
- Abdominal bloating
may accompany ovulation
For those who are unable to conceive naturally, may need to adopt one of the following methods:
1. Ovulation Induction: the treatment is designed to stimulate the ovary to increase egg production. Ovulation induction uses tablets or injections over a period of time. Ultrasounds are performed to determine the best time to trigger ovulation using a hormone called HCG. Once ovulation has been triggered, you are either advised planned intercourse or inter-uterine insemination when collected semen is placed directly into the uterus through the cervix.
2. Assisted reproductive technology:For women who have not been able to conceive naturally or by using medications, another option is assisted reproductive technology. This includes treatments such as IVF (in vitro fertilisation). You can consult a fertility specialist for helping you conceive with the help of assisted reproductive techniques.
To have a complete understanding of PCOS, please read the complete series by Dr Ritu Hinduja.
For suggestions by a nutritionist, read on: Battling PCOS & Pregnancy Weight
To consult Dr Ritu Hinduja in person, click here.