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Why does PCOS Cause Irregular Periods?

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Why does PCOS Cause Irregular Periods?
Why does PCOS Cause Irregular Periods?

One of your first concerns after getting diagnosed with PCOS is the irregularity of your periods, or even the complete absence of it. It can be stressful to experience this since most women fear infertility as a direct cause of such irregular periods. The irregularity of periods is caused because of imbalances in the hormones, but it can always be treated.

PCOS and the menstrual cycle –

Let’s understand the menstrual cycle and how PCOS affects it. The primary reason for this is ovulation. So, what is ovulation? In females, a follicle matures in the ovaries. Each month, around the 14th day of your cycle, an egg is released from the ovary and the process is known as ovulation. This is called ovulation, and it governs regularity of periods. But, women with PCOS do not experience ovulation. You conceive successfully if the egg is fertilised because of sexual intercourse. Because of the hormonal imbalances that you experience in PCOS, it is responsible for preventing ovulation sometimes and may change the levels of hormones that maintain pregnancy. Without any ovulation, there is no egg released and hence, it accounts for irregular periods. This is why most women with PCOS struggle to conceive because their egg has not ovulated or it ovulates irregularly.

Women with PCOS also have higher levels of androgens (male hormones) and that can affect your periods significantly. The androgens in the body can interfere with the menstrual cycle to prevent ovulation. Because of this imbalance of hormones, the follicle does not mature or get released. This follicle remains on the ovaries and can be seen on an ultrasound. With no ovulation and an imbalance in the hormones, there is no regular period because the lining of the uterus is also not shed.

Since every PCOS journey is different, this imbalance can have different symptoms in women. Few people can have PCOS but still get regular periods after every 28 days and some women may get them every 30 to 40 days or sometimes not get them at all. This irregularity of periods is the most common symptom of PCOS and can cause infertility and increase the risk of developing certain cancers too. So, it needs to be treated especially if the irregularity of your periods has increased over time.

The best ways to regulate your periods – 

Weight loss: In case you are overweight, if you try to keep your weight in check and manage it well, it can help you regulate your hormones. Studies say that losing even 5% to 10% of your total body weight can improve the regularity of your periods and better the chances of fertility. 

Birth control pills or contraceptives: These pills can regulate the levels of your hormones and lower the androgens or male sex hormones. This can make your periods more consistent and regular, and increase your chances of fertility too.

d-Chiro and Myo-Inositol combinations: A lot of studies have shown that Inositol has reduced the levels of testosterone in women with PCOS and regularised their periods. These supplements have also promoted regular ovulation in women with PCOS. But they are not regarded as the standard of care treatment or FDA-approved treatment for PCOS.

Metformin: Metformin, which is a standard of care treatment for diabetes, can be used off-label for helping in weight loss and promoting ovulation. Although it might not be as effective as a birth control pill, lowering insulin resistance can ultimately help improve irregular periods as well.

It is important that you speak to your doctor before consuming any medications that have been mentioned above or in general. Your body, PCOS and its journey is different and these medications may or may not be suitable for your health condition. With such supplements and medications, the dosage and the regimen can be prescribed properly and accurately by your doctor. In case the irregularity persists after these medications, do contact your doctor to talk about alternative treatments and therapies that might help you. 

The symptoms and consequences of PCOS may make you feel anxious but do remember to maintain your diet, exercise and supplements to alleviate your symptoms and try to reverse your PCOS!

Read More: Marketinic

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