An overview of common gynaecological conditions
Click below to learn more about each gynaecological condition.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is characterised by three main features. These are:
You do not need all three to be diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. Normally, two will give an indication that you have polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Insulin is produced by the pancreas to control the sugar levels in the body. The hormone helps to remove glucose from the blood, which is then broken down to produce energy.
With PCOS, the body becomes resistant to the action of insulin, so glucose isn’t removed from the blood. To compensate for this resistance, the body produces more insulin. This increase in the production and activity of insulin causes the body to increase the production of other hormones, such as testosterone.
An imbalance in hormones can lead to problems in the ovaries. Excess testosterone interferes with the development of the follicles (small sacs in the ovaries where the eggs develop). As a result, the egg may not develop or be released during ovulation as part of a healthy period. This can lead to missed or irregular periods.
These symptoms usually become apparent in your late teens or early 20s and not all women will have all of these symptoms, which can vary from mild to severe. However, PCOS can develop later in life, such as due to substantial weight gain.
For irregular or absent periods, your doctor may recommend the contraceptive pill. This can help to induce regular periods. A course of progestogen tablets may also be prescribed for the same reason.
These work by blocking the effects of testosterone and other ‘male hormones’. Some also work by suppressing the production of these hormones by the ovaries.
If you are overweight, losing excess weight will help reduce the risk of developing long-term health problems from PCOS. A healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise can help you to lose weight.
During the procedure, the ovaries are treated with a laser. This is to destroy the tissue that produces the androgens (male hormones), which raises the levels of follicle-stimulating hormones. This can restore the normal function of the ovaries by correcting the hormone imbalance.
Clomifene helps with ovulation by encouraging the release of an egg from the ovaries.
If this is not successful, injections or IVF treatments will be offered.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with a higher risk of pregnancy complications, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), gestational diabetes and miscarriage. If you have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, it is important to seek medical advice if you are planning on starting a family.
They will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and talk with you about the best treatment options for your specific situation.
An appointment with an experienced Consultant at your nearest BMI hospital can be helpful. They will assess and diagnose the cause of your symptoms and then discuss any suitable treatment options for your specific situation. To schedule your visit, book a specialist appointment online today.
Women's Health Matters 2021 provides a comprehensive analysis of ten of the most common gynaecological conditions misdiagnosed or misunderstood for years at a time. Infertility, debilitating chronic pain, the onset of associated conditions and severe depression are common effects of living with a gynaecological condition without access to the right care. Yet despite this, education and awareness around women’s health is lacking.
Millions of women in the UK continue to suffer in silence while waiting for a diagnosis, unsure of how best to manage their pain or seek help.
The aim of this Women's Health Matters is to tackle taboos in women's health by sharing the hard-hitting stories of other women living with these conditions, as well as: