PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)



Which is the most common hormone disorder found in women?


PCOS  is extremely prevalent and probably constitutes the most frequently encountered endocrine (hormone) disorder in women of reproductive age. Having the disorder may significantly impact the quality of life of women during the reproductive years, and it contributes to morbidity and mortality by the time of menopause.


What are the disorders associated with PCOS?


Polycystic ovary syndrome women are at increased risk for coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Their risk factors include central obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, hypertension, and elevated fasting plasma glucose concentrations. Polycystic ovary syndrome women should undergo screening for hypertension, abnormal lipid profiles, insulin resistance, and reproductive disorders including cancer of endometrium.


What is PAO?


A subgroup of women (up to 30%) may have subtle abnormalities resembling Polycystic ovary syndrome  called PAO. While PCOS occurs in at least 5% of the population, the isolated finding of polycystic-appearing ovaries (PAO), which meets the classic ultra-sonographic criteria, occurs in 16–25% of the normal population without evidence of the full-blown syndrome. These characteristics include androgenic ovarian responses to stimulation with gonadotropins, as well as metabolic changes such as lowered high density lipoprotein-C levels and evidence of insulin resistance. While these data generated by our group need further assessment, these findings suggest that important yet silent abnormalities may exist in otherwise normal women who have a trait of Polycystic ovary syndrome (namely PAO).


What is the most important reproductive concern in women with PCOS?


The most frustrating reproductive concern for women with PCOS is pregnancy loss. The spontaneous abortion rate in Polycystic ovary syndrome is approximately one third of all pregnancies. This is at least double the rate for recognized early abortions in normal women (12–15%). Reasons for this are unclear although hypotheses include elevated LH levels, deficient progesterone secretion, abnormal embryos from atretic oocytes, and an abnormal endometrium.


How PCOS negatively impact psychosocial development of young women?


Women with PCOS, particularly those with hirsutism, have an increased prevalence of reactive depression and minor psychological abnormalities. There is also evidence of increased psychological stress and an increased catecholamine response to provoked stress. The overall quality of life is decreased in hirsute women. The presence of hirsutism and menstrual irregularities, especially in younger patients, is extremely distressing and has a significant negative impact on their psychosocial development.


Which cancer has increased risk in women with PCOS?


Women with Polycystic ovary syndrome are at increased risk of endometrial cancer. Chronic unopposed estrogen exposure is probably the proximate risk factor. This may be confounded by obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, which are known correlates of endometrial cancer risk. It is imperative to screen all women with Polycystic ovary syndrome, even those who are considered too young to develop endometrial hyperplasia and carcinoma.


Can low grade inflammation be a risk factor of PCOS?


Women with Polycystic ovary syndrome have significantly increased CRP concentrations relative to those in healthy women with normal menstrual rhythm and normal androgens. Inflammatory marker like CRP concentrations is more with PCOS. It correlates with the degree of obesity and inversely with insulin sensitivity, although not with total testosterone concentrations.

PCOS

PCOS


Which is a better predictor of metabolic syndrome in PCOS?


Obesity, a key determinant of insulin concentrations, appeared to have an independent effect on risk for the metabolic syndrome. In Anovulatory Polycystic ovary syndrome women a waist circumference of >83.5 cm along with biochemical evidence of hyperandrogenism is a powerful predictor of the presence of metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. Age and central obesity (waist-hip ratio/waist circumference) are better predictors of metabolic syndrome in women with Polycystic ovary syndrome compared to other parameters including BMI.


How Metformin helps in PCOS?


Metformin is the most thoroughly investigated insulin-lowering agent used to treat PCOS; it enhances insulin sensitivity in the liver, where it inhibits hepatic glucose production, and in muscle, where it improves glucose uptake and use.

The persistence of regular ovulatory menstrual cycles in the 6 months after the end of treatment demonstrates that metformin treatment provides lasting benefits. All girls maintain a BMI <25 kg/m2, and this can play a role in normal ovulation menstrual cycles.


What is the role of AMH in diagnosis of Polycystic ovary syndrome ?


Serum anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), produced in the ovaries by small follicles, is usually elevated in women with PCOS and correlates with the severity of this syndrome. AMH plays an important role in inhibiting follicular development by decreasing the sensitivity of the follicles to FSH and by inhibiting granulosa cell aromatase. Serum AMH appears as a sensitive and specific parameter that predict Polycystic ovary syndrome than antral follicle count and ovarian volume.

 


What is the source of DHEA in Polycystic ovary syndrome ?


Serum DHEAS has been found to be elevated in some women with polycystic ovary syndrome  . In Polycystic ovary syndrome , it has been found that there are actually two different sources of androgens, the ovary and the adrenal. In women with PCOS, the theca cells are overactive and proliferate excessively, producing too much testosterone. Unfortunately, in 40-50% of women with PCOS, there is also another source of androgens, which is the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce all of the DHEA in the body.


What causes PCOS in non-obese women?


All women with PCOS are not obese. Between 20–50% of women with PCOS are normal weight or thin, and the pathophysiology of the disorder in these women may differ from that in obese women. It has been suggested that PCOS develops in non-obese women because of a hypothalamic-pituitary defect that results in increased release of LH, and that insulin plays no role in the disorder.

These women tend to have an increased waist to hip ratio and are insulin resistant and hyperinsulinemic compared to their normal counterparts.


How the lean PCOS are treated?


Even normal weight and thin women with PCOS respond to pharmacological measures to improve insulin sensitivity, such as administration of agents like metformin, with decreases in ovarian androgen production and serum androgens. Administration of myoinositol (3 g per day) reduce luteinizing hormone (LH), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) (inflammation), and androgens, as well as improve insulin tolerance test, in lean patients with PCOS.


How infertility in PCOS treated?


 Lifestyle modification is very important in the treatment for PCOS, because weight loss and exercise have been shown to lead to improved fertility and the lowering of androgen levels. Ovarian stimulation along with insulin sensitizers help in many instances. IVF is an alternative option in Polycystic ovary syndrome . GnRH antagonist protocol appears to significantly reduce the rate of severe OHSS in these women. The average number of oocytes recovered is higher but rate of immature oocytes is more and fertilization rate is lower in the PCOS group.


Does IVM help in PCOS?


In-vitro maturation treatment can now be offered as a successful option to infertile women with polycystic ovaries or polycystic ovary syndrome. It is possible to combine natural cycle in-vitro fertilization with immature oocyte retrieval followed by in-vitro maturation, and thus offer women with various causes of infertility reasonable pregnancy and implantation rates without recourse to ovarian stimulation.


What is the effect of bariatric surgery in PCOS?


Bariatric surgery has been increasingly popular to treat morbid obesity associated with PCOS. In the larger population as the surgery has become safer with primarily a laparoscopic approach and selection of a healthier population for surgery, long-term survival is now superior with versus without the surgery.



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