Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Latest Medical Breakthroughs

Monday, 21 Mar 2011 12:38 PM

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What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS is one of the most common female endocrine disorders. It is a polycystic disease (involving many cysts).

Obesity, hirsutism (excessive facial or body hair), irregular menstruation, acne associated with enlarged ovaries, acanthosis nigricans (brown skin patches), high cholesterol levels, exhaustion, decreased sex drive, excess male hormones, and infertility are associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Other symptoms can include sleep apnea (breathing difficulties during sleeping), thyroid disorders, and anxiety. This complex disorder is characterized by excessive androgen production by the ovaries. It interferes with the growth of the ovarian follicles.
 
Treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
To manage polycystic ovary syndrome one should exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and stop smoking. The following options for treatment of PCOS have helped many women:
 
Birth control pills, or oral contraceptives, contain female hormones that help regulate the menstrual cycle.

Insulin-sensitizing medications used to treat adult-onset diabetes are useful to many women with PCOS.

Ovulation induction: In some women who wish to become pregnant, inducing ovulation (involving release of an egg), is necessary.

Androgen-blocking (anti-androgen) medications can be used to treat several ovarian syndrome symptoms, including excess or unwanted hair growth and to a limited degree, acne and hair loss.

Topical anti-hair-growth medications can also help slow the growth of facial hair in women with PCOS, specifically a lotion containing eflornithine hydrochloride.

Proper nutrition and dietary restriction if overweight: Some women with PCOS achieve success by reducing their intake of refined carbohydrates and replacing them with complex carbohydrates.
 
Latest Medical Breakthroughs
A new study shows exercise and electro-acupuncture treatment can reduce sympathetic nerve activity in women with PCOS. Acupuncture may lead to more regular menstrual cycles, reduced testosterone levels, and reduced waist circumference. These polycystic treatments have great impact.
 
A major breakthrough in understanding this syndrome has come about with the recognition that many women with PCOS, particularly those who are overweight, are insulin-resistant with elevated serum insulin levels, called hyperinsulinemia. It is becoming increasingly apparent that insulin resistance and the resulting hyperinsulinemia are associated with PCOS. Women who are overweight (even if they show evidence of increased androgen production), do not usually have hyperinsulinemia provided their ovulatory menstrual cycles are regular.
 
After Avandia, another drug called Actos was introduced to the market. These drugs are in the same class as Rezulin and are regarded as major breakthroughs in the treatment of PCOS.

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