Polycystic ovary syndrome affects approximately 10% of women. Focus on this disease, the leading cause of female infertility.
Worldwide, one in ten women suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This Thursday, September 1st, is the day devoted to awareness and prevention of this little-known female disease which nevertheless represents the first cause of female infertility. Often, this disease is detected between the ages of 25 and 30 following a consultation related to infertility.
What is it about ? Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) results from a hormonal imbalance of ovarian and/or central origin (in the brain). “It causes excessive production of androgens, especially testosterone, usually produced in small quantities in the female body. This results in an elevation of the testosterone level in the blood of the women concerned.“, explains Inserm. A blood test and a pelvic ultrasound confirm the presence of this syndrome.
The intensity of symptoms varies from woman to woman. Among the manifestations of PCOS: ovulation disorders, hyperpilosity, acne, hair loss, metabolic syndrome, a higher risk of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, angina pectoris , etc). Concerning the evolution of the disease, the hypersecretion of androgens by the ovary promotes the development of overweight, warns Ameli. A consequence that predisposes to insulin resistance.
Due to the decrease or absence of ovulation, PCOS is often responsible for infertility. For pregnant women, risks of complications exist such as pre-eclampsia, premature delivery, etc.
At the moment, the cause of appearance of this syndrome is not known. “About twenty genes predisposing to the syndrome have been identified, but they would explain less than 10% of PCOS cases. Family history nevertheless exposes you to an increased risk of about 30% of developing the disease.“, details Inserm. In addition, environmental factors such as endocrine disruptors would also play a role.
Currently, there is no treatment to permanently treat polycystic ovary syndrome. Indeed, women can only receive symptomatic treatment until menopause. “It is based on an improvement in lifestyle, drug treatment in the event of hirsutism and/or infertility, and psychological support when necessary.“, specifies Inserm.
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