What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
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Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, affects a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. Watch this video to get details on its causes, symptoms, and more.
Transcript: Polycystic ovary syndrome, commonly known as PCOS, is THE most common hormonal disorder in women. Affecting...
Polycystic ovary syndrome, commonly known as PCOS, is THE most common hormonal disorder in women. Affecting 5 to 7 million American women, PCOS occurs when the ovaries and adrenal glands produce EXCESS male hormones, or androgens. These hormones interfere with ovulation - instead of eggs being released each month, they build up in small, pearl-sized cysts in the ovaries. The first sign of PCOS is usually irregular or absent menstruation. Other signs include acne, abnormal facial and body hair growth, and thinning of the hair that resembles male-pattern balding. Because ovulation is irregular in women with PCOS, they often have a hard time getting pregnant naturally. In addition to infertility, PCOS puts women at increased risk for metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, weight gain, heart disease and some cancers. Doctors aren't sure what's behind PCOS, but they do know it's hereditary. They also think it may be connected to insulin resistance, which is common in women with PCOS. Insulin resistance causes an elevated level of insulin in the bloodstream, which increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and makes the ovaries overproduce androgens, triggering and worsening PCOS symptoms. Doctors diagnose PCOS with a physical exam, blood test and a pelvic ultrasound. They must eliminate the possibility of other hormonal disorders before arriving at a final diagnosis. There are a few lifestyle changes you can make to RELIEVE PCOS symptoms, regulate your menstrual cycle and possibly regain fertility. First of all, women with PCOS should eat a balanced diet and EXERCISE-it's the FIRST recommendation doctors will make for PCOS. A simple 5 percent weight loss can ease many symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. There are several medications women can take to treat PCOS and its effects, as well. They include birth control pills, fertility medications and anti-androgens - watch more videos in this series for details.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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Are you worried about having irregular periods? There are many women who face this issue. Check out this video to learn about the causes of irregular periods.
Transcript: Five days LATE last month, six days EARLY this month - if your menstrual cycle is unpredictable, you...
Five days LATE last month, six days EARLY this month - if your menstrual cycle is unpredictable, you may wonder if there's something wrong. Well, most of the time, an irregular period doesn't mean you have a serious illness, ESPECIALLY if you've just started getting periods in the last couple years, OR if you're approaching menopause. However, when you're PAST puberty but nowhere NEAR menopause, your irregular period may be due to other issues. You may be under massive stress or be very anxious. Or you could be eating poorly, due to simple neglect, binge eating or anorexia. Being UNDERWEIGHT or OVERWEIGHT will affect your menstrual cycle. INTENSE exercise, whether you're training for a marathon or are just overdoing it in the gym, may also be behind your irregular cycle. If you RECOGNIZE yourself in these descriptions, chances are your irregular periods WILL return to normal if you correct their cause, on your own or with the help of a health provider. However, if your irregular period is accompanied by other troubling symptoms, such as ABDOMINAL pain, heavy bleeding, SEVERE cramps, bad acne or excess body hair, that may be a sign of a medical condition. One such condition is hormone IMBALANCE - meaning you have too much ESTROGEN or too much PROGESTERONE in your body. That's easily corrected by taking combination birth control pills. They'll also relieve severe cramps, heavy bleeding and prevent pregnancy if you're sexually active. Another condition, called polycystic ovary syndrome, occurs when you have an excess of androgens - they're male hormones. This is treated with another type of hormone therapy. Pelvic inflammatory disease is an INFECTION of a woman's reproductive organs. Irregular bleeding may be a symptom. This can interfere with fertility; immediate treatment with antibiotics is important. Finally, RARELY, irregular periods may be a sign of PREMATURE OVARIAN FAILURE, a condition in which a woman younger than 40 stops ovulating, or ovulates sporadically. It can sometimes be reversed. HEAD TO YOUR DOCTOR if you're at all concerned about your irregular periods. It's always better to be safe than sorry.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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What is overactive bladder? It is a condition in which one feels the need to urinate frequently. Watch this video to learn about this condition in detail.
Transcript: If you have to get to the bathroom NOW - and you worry that you might pee in your pants - it's possible...
If you have to get to the bathroom NOW - and you worry that you might pee in your pants - it's possible you could have overactive bladder or OAB. Also known as urge incontinence, overactive bladder may occur when bladder muscles spasm or involuntarily contract, even when there is little urine in your bladder. Sometimes, however, the urge is purely sensory, and you get the feeling of urgency without ANY muscle contractions. In either case, with OAB there's a short circuit in your nervous system so that signals which NORMALLY tell you when you REALLY have to urinate, mistakenly say, "Get to the bathroom ASAP." The bladder can hold up to about 18 ounces of urine and typically signals you have to go when it's about one third full. But if you have OAB, you may get the message when there are only a few ounces of liquid there - or none at all. This can make getting a good night's sleep DIFFICULT, and that only contributes to problems during the day.Although overactive bladder can develop at any age, it is more common in older adults, especially postmenopausal women. However, OAB is not a normal part of aging. It is usually due to medications, infection, obesity, diabetes, or for men, an enlarged prostate, and for women, thinning of the tissue around the urethra. Fortunately, with the right treatment overactive bladder can be managed, or even cured. For more information on treating OAB, check out other videos on this site.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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