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The New PCOS Guideline- How Would It Affect You

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a complicated condition. To ensure correct diagnosis and treatment to the women who suffer from PCOS, the Endocrine Society has released an official recommendation.


As per this recommendation, any medical or healthcare professional will now have to use two out of the three Rotterdam criteria before they can put PCOS down as the official diagnosis.

The Rotterdam Criteria

In 1990, an NIH or National Institute of Health Conference set the premises for the Rotterdam criteria. The experts decided on three diagnosable conditions, which if present, would mark the presence of PCOS in the patient.

These three conditions included hyperandrogenism(excess androgen production), oligo-ovulation(ovulatory dysfunction), and polycystic ovaries(multiple ovarian cysts.)

PCOS affects one in every fifteen women worldwide, an estimate says. It affects about five million women in America alone. It also happens to be a leading cause of infertility. More women are looking at IVF treatments and other ways out of infertility at the current point of time than ever.

PCOS Diagnosis Often Gets Delayed

Women suffer from many medical conditions that present similar symptoms as PCOS. These include thyroid disease, hyperprolactinemia, non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia, etc.

The NIH(National Institute of Health) has decided to use the Rotterdam criteria to overcome the weakness in the diagnosis system for PCOS that often leads to misdiagnosis.

The Symptoms of PCOS

l  Sleep apnea

l  Skin tags

l  Feelings of depression and anxiety

l  Infrequent, non-existent, or irregular menstruation cycles.

l  Ovulation-related problems in conceiving.

l  Unexplained weight gain, especially around the middle.

l  Too much hair growth on the stomach, chest, toes, face, and back.

l  Hair thinning or baldness.

l  Dark, thick patches on the neck, breasts, arms and thighs.

While any combinations of the symptoms mentioned above could mean a different kind of medical condition, getting checked up is your best bet.

With PCOS, Early Diagnosis Is Always Better

If every symptom that could be remotely related to PCOS is considered with a questioning glare, it could be possible to devise an algorithm to connect them with the condition and facilitate diagnosis in the early stages.

Experimental trials show the positive impact of aggressively treating an accurate diagnosis of PCOS in the young age. Not only could this improve the life quality of women, but it could also mean a better chance for them at natural conception and motherhood.

NIH Recommendations

If a woman has PCOS but is not willing to conceive, first-line treatment for her should include hormonal contraceptives.

If a woman isn’t ovulating regularly, but trying to get pregnant, they should be given oestrogen modulators. If she is pursuing IVF, metformin should also be administered to avoid any chances of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

Medical professionals must be careful of the dosage of metformin they prescribe to the patients. This drug has been associated with obesity, skin manifestations arising because of systemic diseases, or to keep complications at bay during pregnancy.

The NIH panel also expressed its concern over the usage of insulin sensitizers, as PCOS affected women tend to have higher insulin levels in their blood along with other hormonal imbalances.

If you are one of the many women who just got diagnosed with PCOS, and if you wish to conceive, it is always a good idea to consult a fertility specialist before making a move.

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