Polycystic Ovarian Disease. Essay

2667 words - 11 pages

Ignorance is bliss, unless it is affecting your health. For years, I have been plagued by a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome. This was of no great concern to me because I was ill informed of the perils that this syndrome would put me through. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affects up to ten percent of all women, and its effects are extended far beyond the ovaries and the reproductive years (Polycystic 1). PCOS is not recognizable through any one symptom; rather it is a combination of several independent symptoms. These symptoms include obesity, lack of menstrual cycle, male pattern hair loss, acne, hirsutism, infertility, depression, and migraines. There is also a strong connection between PCOS and other medical problems such as insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, stroke, and thromboembolism. There are, however, several new and upcoming treatments for PCOS such as, surgical and medical therapies. I hope that one day there will be a definite cure, but for now, any relief from PCOS would be greatly appreciated.To begin, what is polycystic ovarian syndrome? It is by definition a disorder affecting young women characterized by bilaterally enlarged ovaries with multiple cysts, chronic failure to release ova, secondary absent or scanty menstruation, and infertility (Dox). PCOS was first discovered in 1845 when "sclerocystic" changes of the ovary were described in a French manuscript, however it was not until 1935 that doctors Stein and Leventhal designated the condition polycystic ovarian syndrome (Thatcher 10). In summary, PCOS is over sixty years old and thanks to the combined efforts of a few doctors, it now has a name with a meaning.Next, we will venture forward to learn more about the effects of PCOS on the body. To start with, there is the presence of obesity in many of the women suffering from PCOS. Whether obesity is a cause of PCOS, a result of PCOS, or a completely independent of PCOS has not been fully explained. However, there is an unmistakable association between obesity and PCOS (Thatcher 118). Perhaps the most common effect of PCOS on the body is the lack of menstrual cycle. This is due to the excessively high amounts of testosterone in the body (Turkington 184). High testosterone levels also result in male pattern hair loss, as well as male patterned hair growth, also known as hirsutism. Hirsutism is defined as an increase in amount and/or coarseness of hair distributed in the male pattern in a female, as stated by The Center for Applied Reproductive Science. The issue of facial hair is usually self-evident, as well as other areas of male pattern hair growth such as; 'sideburns,' lower neck, lower back and inner thighs, also a faint moustache is quite common (CARS). Acne is yet another effect of polycystic ovarian syndrome. However, the acne normally regulates with age. Lastly, but in my opinion most importantly, PCOS often results in infertility. In actuality, PCOS is possibly the leading cause of...

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