What are the First Signs of PCOS | Chennai PCOS Clinic

Acne, facial hair, hair loss, weight gain, and period problems may seem like they are a phase of the reproductive life in women, and many women simply deal with it without realizing that they could be the first signs of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Signs of depression, acne, or irregular periods are not always unique to PCOS. There are significant hurdles in a woman’s life that may delay her in getting to the best doctor for PCOS in Chennai for the proper diagnosis and treatment of PCOS. The average number of doctors A woman is estimated to seek medical help for various signs of PCOS from an average number of three doctors before the right diagnosis is reached. PCOS is most often not diagnosed until the woman presents with difficulty in getting pregnant as the first sign.

When do the first signs of PCOS appear?

PCOS occurs as a health condition that affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Between 5% and 10% of women between the age groups of 15 and 44 have PCOS. PCOS can happen at any age after puberty. Generally, signs of PCOS appear alongside puberty, but it can start showing signs later during the teen years or 20s of a woman. Hence, the experience of PCOS signs usually becomes apparent in the late teens or early 20s. Most women discover they have PCOS while in their 20s and 30s when they find problems getting pregnant. It is also possible, though rare, that the condition starts showing up only when a woman is in her 40s or later.

What to expect as the first signs of PCOS?

PCOS has become extremely common, owing to poor lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. Best gynecologists in Chennai for PCOS, along with other health care providers are of the opinion that PCOS has evolved largely as a lifestyle-related disease. Lack of physical activity, poor eating habits, smoking, alcohol abuse, and poor sleep are considered as some of the factors that manifest as signs of PCOS.

Irregular or unpredictable periods – A normal cycle varies from individual to individual but falls within 22 to 35 days. A delay of 2 to 3 days in a few cycles per year is a normal phenomenon not indicating a sign of PCOS. Irregular or unpredictable periods mean that the menstrual cycle length is more than 35 days. Women with PCOS experience signs of unpredictable cycles that account for only about eight or fewer cycles in a year.

Difficulty in getting pregnant – A woman who is getting her periods though irregularly, does not necessarily have to be ovulating. Periods can happen without ovulation. That is the major reason why signs are either not noticeable or ignored by women until they fail in their attempts to get pregnant. Women with PCOS have trouble getting pregnant mainly due to a lack of ovulation. PCOS happens to be the most common cause of female infertility.

Getting oily skin or acne – If getting oily skin or lots of acne is sudden, it may be one of the first signs of PCOS to be noticed. Certain skin types are more vulnerable to acne and elevated androgen levels in PCOS can affect the skin further in causing aggravated acne problems.

Hirsutism, unwanted hair growth – Excess hair growth in unwanted places varies depending on the ethnicity of women. High levels of androgens in PCOS, can make this worse for women who are already predisposed to excess hair. Women with PCOS unwanted excess hair most often on their face, arms, back, chest, thumbs, toes, and abdomen.

Thinning of hair or hair loss – Hair loss is the flip side of unwanted hair growth, where women with PCOS lose hair that they otherwise would want to keep. Excess androgen in women may make them suffer through “male pattern” hair loss which affects up to 70% of women with PCOS. Thinning of hair on top of the head or hair recession is seen more severely in middle-aged women with PCOS. Thinning of hair and hair loss over a long period of time could be signs of PCOS that must be taken seriously.

Weight gain – Most women with PCOS experience weight gain or are obese, it is also possible that women with PCOS remain thin. All women with PCOS are overweight or obese is a false view that can interfere with arriving at the right diagnosis. Many thin women with PCOS may miss the diagnosis.

Fatigue and sleep trouble – Women with PCOS especially those who are overweight often feel tired and low in energy and this is attributed to be because of sleep apnoea. Brief pauses in breathing while sleeping is the characteristic of the condition, sleep apnoea. Women feeling sleepy during the daytime could be the first sign of PCOS.

Mood disorders – Distress from PCOS-related body changes and decreased body image can lead to anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Mood swings and depression are important signs that cannot be ignored as they can otherwise lead to reduced self-confidence and self-esteem to a great extent.

Insulin resistance – Women with PCOS are less responsive to the hormone insulin, putting them at risk for developing hyperglycemia. 65 to 70 percent of women with PCOS are known to be insulin resistant, arising associated metabolic signs like skin tags and skin discoloration that appear as dark, velvety patches around the armpits, groin, and neck.

For PCOS diagnosis, a woman must fit into any two of the three following criteria that are:
1. androgen excess marked by hirsutism, acne, and hair loss
2. irregular menstruation as signs of ovulatory dysfunction and
3. ultrasound findings of polycystic ovaries.

Not all women with PCOS will show all of the signs and each sign can vary from being mild to severe in different women. If a woman experiences the above signs, it is recommended to see the best doctor for PCOS in Chennai, where a physical exam, medical history, ultrasound scan, and Rotterdam criteria for the diagnosis will be put to use for the right diagnosis.

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