Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), is a type of hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with cyst formation on the outer layer. The symptom is caused due to raised male hormone (androgen) in the woman's body. PCOS causes a problem with women’s menstrual cycle, fertility, and appearance. PCOS is the most common disorder among women between age group 18-44. It has no definite cure, and only weight management and exercise can bring about noticeable changes.

Hormonal imbalance is another factor contributing to PCOS. This indirectly affects development and release of eggs during ovulation cycle. Excess insulin (the hormone which converts sugars into starch) also cause high androgen levels.


Symptoms of PCOS starts right from the stage when women start menstruating. However, the severity may vary leading to irregular menstrual cycles. Due to decreased levels of female hormone, women start developing some male-like characteristics (unwanted hair growth, decreased breast size, change of voice, hair loss, and thinning). Other important symptoms that mark the disease are:

  • Acne.
  • Unwanted weight gain.
  • Pelvic and abdominal pain.
  • An episode of unexpected anxiety, depression, and anger.
  • Infertility due to lack of ovulation.


The causes of PCOS are not very clear and understood, but few of the major factors could include:

  • Genetics: PCOS runs in families, so anyone who has a family history is at greater risk of being affected.
  • Hormonal imbalance: It is another factor contributing to PCOS. Excessive production of a male hormone in will cause changes in the women body leading to PCOS. This indirectly affects development and release of eggs during ovulation cycle.
  • Excess insulin(hormone which converts sugars into starch): It also causes high androgen levels


The main risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and lipid profiles.
  • Metabolic Syndrome —signs that indicate increased the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis —liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver.
  • Infertility.
  • Sleep apnea (state when a person stops breathing periodically during sleep).
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Abnormal uterine/menstrual bleeding.
  • Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer).
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
  • Breast cancer.


The disease cannot be completely prevented, but early treatment and diagnosis will help prevent long-term complications such as:

  • Diabetes.
  • Obesity.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Infertility

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, the following technologies are used to diagnose this disease: 


How is it treated?

At Medanta, the treatment for PCOS is mainly concerned with the management of individual concerns like weight management, infertility, etc.


  • Lifestyle

    Doctors may recommend weight loss, or a watch on calorie intake in combination with light exercises. Even this small change can help improve the condition.

  • Medications

    Doctors may prescribe medicines to regulate menstrual cycle which is done with the help of birth control pills - a combination of oestrogen and progesterone hormones. Vaginal rings may also be used in place.

  • Reduce excess hair growth and acne

    Progesterone hormone in form of pills or cream can be used to control the two symptoms. However, these are not prescribed to those who are expecting or trying to conceive.

  • Surgery

    Surgery consisting ovarian drilling, in which doctor punctures the ovary using a small needle carrying electric current to destroy affected part of the ovary. It is a short-term solution to promote ovulation and reduce production o the male hormone.

When do I contact the doctor?

It is advised to seek medical care if symptoms like an irregular menstrual cycle, acne, unwanted hair growth, etc. are predominant. Neglected signs and symptoms can lead to diabetes and serious heart diseases.

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