Women with PCOS can develop serious health problems, especially if they are overweight. PCOS is also linked to depression and anxiety.
PCOS is a medical condition that is increasingly manifesting in Kashmir and is becoming the leading cause of infertility among women of reproductive age. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), one of the familiar disorders of unclear etiology, is an endocrine disorder affecting progenitive women, ultimately inducing infertility and depression. It has also been suggested as one of the risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. As stated by WHO, over 116 million women [3.4%] are affected by this syndrome across the globe. Besides this, an approximate 6-10% belonging to the fertile age group suffer from this disorder. As far as our country is concerned, a large-scale survey conducted in the year 2020 showed that about 16% of women respondents in the age group of 20 to 29 years encountered this type of disorder. As per a study carried out by Ashraf, et al, from 2013-2015, PCOS is more prevalent among Kashmiri women.
This disorder is usually diagnosed in the reproductive stage of the life of a woman when confronted with infertility or because of the symptoms of menstrual irregularities or anovulation, clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenism and polycystic ovaries. Also, 50% of the women diagnosed with PCOS are obese, but no incidence of PCOS being caused by obesity has been reported. The mechanism underlying its primary origin is still obscure, although there is evidence regarding the role of lifestyle factors in the development of this type of syndrome. PCOS, a multifactorial condition, initially develops in adolescents who are at high risk of obesity, endometrial dysplasia, infertility, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and psychotic disorders.
In some women PCOS develops due to predominant genes. Environmental factors also play a significant role in developing PCOS and allied complications. All these factors ultimately result in hyperinsulinemia. Besides this, women with PCOS are insulin resistant. Their bodies cannot use it effectively, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes. Women with PCOS can develop serious health problems, especially if they are overweight, like heart diseases, high blood pressure, sleep apnoea and stroke. PCOS is also linked to depression and anxiety.
—The writer is a research scholar at Department of Zoology, University of Kashmir