TargetWoman Condensed Health Information



Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

In PCOS, under-developed follicles accumulate in the ovaries. Since they fail to mature, they accumulate as cysts in the ovaries. The low levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and elevated levels of androgens may be the reasons for this condition. When there is no ovulation, the progesterone hormone is not created and the lining of the uterus is not shed in a timely fashion. This increases the chances of endometrial hyperplasia and even cancer.


Another feature associated with PCOS is hyper androgenism or increased responsiveness to testosterone. This usually shows up in oily skin and acne. Excess hair may be noticed on the face and other parts of the body. Women suffering from PCOS have a weight problem, especially around the waist. Insulin resistance is also noticed in some women. This increases the risk of developing diabetes in later years.


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Symptom


  • Absence of menses or abnormal or scanty menstrual periods
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility
  • Aggravated acne
  • Increased hair growth in a male pattern

High levels of insulin can result in symptoms such as high androgen levels, infertility and lack of ovulation. These symptoms are usually noticed when women are in their 20s or 30s. Diagnosis of PCOS is after a physical examination and laboratory tests. Thyroid and prolactin levels in the blood are tested. Serum levels of male hormones (DHEA and testosterone) are tested for higher than normal levels. Tumors in the ovary or adrenal glands can be diagnosed with vaginal and abdominal ultrasounds. Insulin resistance is vital in the diagnosis of PCOS. Insulin is instrumental in regulating the ovarian function. An ovarian biopsy may also be done.


Treatment for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Treatment for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome depends on what stage of a woman's life this condition has manifested and her fertility desires. Birth control pills are prescribed to regularize the menstrual cycle and reduce the risk of uterine cancer. Other medications used in the treatment of PCOS are flutamide and spironolactone.

Clomiphene induces the pituitary gland to secrete more FSH and this stimulates release and maturity of ova. Insulin resistance is reduced with drugs such as Metformin (Glucophage) and Troglitazone. 'Ovarian drilling' is a process of using laser to place small holes in the ovaries so as to normalize the hormonal environment and allow normal ovulation.

Ovarian Cystic Disease

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that often form during the course of a menstrual cycle. Ovarian cysts form on or in the ovaries. Usually ovarian cysts are harmless and do not cause much discomfort. Most ovarian cysts form when the follicles are not reabsorbed by the body and instead persist and form cysts. While most ovarian cysts are resolved sans any treatment, some cysts may need to be attended to. Rarely are ovarian cysts life threatening; unless there is danger of rupture and internal bleeding. Most often ovarian cystic disease is benign. A woman suffering from ovarian cystic disease may experience dull pelvic pain, menstrual irregularities and pain during intercourse. If there is any sudden pelvic pain accompanied by vomiting or fever, it is imperative to see a doctor at once. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition where there multiple cysts lead to metabolic dysfunction. It manifests in symptoms such as obesity, infertility, acne and excessive body hair.


A pelvic examination and ultrasound will reveal presence of ovarian cysts. Hormone levels are tested for abnormalities. A CAT scan or MRI scan can also aid in diagnosing ovarian cysts. Often ovarian cysts may not need any active treatment. The treatment for ovarian cystic disease hinges on the size of the cysts, its growth pattern and the age of the woman. Use of birth control pills is sometimes recommended to reduce the size and symptoms of ovarian cystic disease. Laparoscopy is used to study the ovarian cysts and sometimes remove them. Cystectomy is the surgical procedure to remove the ovarian cysts without removing the ovary. This done for cysts that persist for more than a few months and grow larger than 6 cms in size. A woman can reduce the chances of ovarian cystic disease with healthy diet and fitness regimen, thereby improving overall health condition.


Spontaneous Abortions

Spontaneous abortion occurs when there is loss of fetus during fetus. Spontaneous abortion or miscarriage happens due to natural events and must not be confused with an elective abortion. Typically, most spontaneous abortions take place during the first trimester. Usually a miscarriage occurs anywhere between 7 - 12 weeks of pregnancy. It can even occur before a woman realizes that she is pregnant. Spontaneous abortion can occur due to infection, trauma, immune response by the body or other conditions such as diabetes. The risk of such miscarriage is higher in women who are above 35 years or suffering from systemic conditions such as thyroid or diabetes. Endocrine factors such as Hypothyroidism, hypoprolactinemia or Polycystic ovarian syndrome can bring on a spontaneous abortion. Chromosomal abnormalities, sexually transmitted diseases or immunological reactions can trigger a miscarriage.


A woman may experience vaginal bleeding that may contain tissue or clots. There is low back pain or abdominal cramps. Other symptoms of impending miscarriage are fever, headache and high blood pressure. Blood tests to check levels of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) are done. An ultrasound helps in confirming whether there has been a spontaneous abortion or not. It can detect the presence of a live fetus and fetal heart beat. It is essential to consult the health worker when such symptoms are noticed. Not all bleeding in the first trimester leads to spontaneous abortion.


In cases of threatened abortion, the expectant mother will be advised complete bed rest. In some women, an incompetent cervix can lead to a threatened abortion. In such cases, a suture is placed around the cervix to close the cervical canal. But this has to be closely monitored. Environmental factors such as smoking or contracting rubella can threaten a pregnancy. Women who have had repeated miscarriages need to be tested to identify the cause. This may involve genetic testing of the partners and inspection of the uterus and cervix.

Popular Topics
Check all your health queries

Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Free Health App
Free Android Health App Free WebApp for iPhones


Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 19, 2017