Polycystic ovarian syndrome


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. Most women with PCOS have many small cysts on their ovaries. Hence, it is called polycystic ovarian syndrome. The cysts are not harmful but lead to hormone imbalances. One hormone change triggers another, which changes another forming a vicious cycle.

The incidence of PCOS appears to be rising in India day by day. It is seen in as many as 5% to 10% of women in their reproductive age. The incidence is increasing may be due to unhealthy lifestyle.

Main Causes of PCOS

1.Hereditary – Genetics may be a factor. PCOS seems to run in families, so your chance of having it is higher if other women in your family have it or have irregular periods or diabetes. PCOS can be passed down from either your mother’s or father’s side.2.Hormonal imbalance – In PCOS there is abnormality in secretion of androgens, luteinizing hormone(LH), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), prolactin. This may cause you to stop ovulating.3.Insulin resistance- Your body may have problems in using insulin leading to abnormal blood sugar levels. This increases the levels of insulin in your body, which increases androgen secretion again leading to hormonal fluctuations. The exact reason why these hormonal changes occur isn’t known.4.Mild inflammation- Women with PCOS have mild inflammation, this type of low-grade inflammation stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens in the body.


Risks of pcod

Infertility or Subfertility- Infertility or subfertility is a common problem for women with PCOS.This may be due to the imbalance of hormones, overproduction of the male hormone like testosterone. The ovaries may release eggs only infrequently. PCOS may reduce a woman’s chances to become pregnant. Many women with PCOS do become pregnant naturally or with medical assistance also.

.Endometrial Cancer – Women with PCOS appear to be at increased risk for developing cancer of the endometrium later in life. Women with PCOS also experience the monthly buildup of the endometrial lining. However, the lining is not sufficiently shed because of infrequent menstrual periods. Thus, the lining continues to build and can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.

Diabetes- Insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance in PCOS builds up insulin level in the body stimulating the production of testosterone, which aggravates the PCOS again. By the age of 40 years, up to 40 percent of women with PCOS have some level of abnormal glucose tolerance, in the form of either diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.

Lipid Abnormalities- Increased testosterone can lead to an unfavorable lipid profile in women with PCOS. Woman with PCOS may have an unfavorably high level of fat substances in blood. In some women, there may be low-level of high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol and a higher rate of low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol. This imbalance increases the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular Risks– PCOS women being obese and having abnormality in lipid levels,are at increased risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. The risk of heart attack is 4 to 7 times higher in women with PCOS than women of the same age without PCOS.

Hypertension- Women with PCOS are at greater risk of having high blood pressure.

Signs and symptoms of PCOS

Irregular periods-This is the most common characteristic of PCOS. It include menstrual intervals longer than 35 days, fewer than eight menstrual cycles a year.Amenorrhea- Absence of menstruation for four months or longer.

Variation in menstrual bleeding- Prolonged periods that may be scanty or heavy flow with clots. Bleeding may extend to more than 9 days.

Infertility- Not able to get pregnant because of not ovulating.

Hirsutism- Increased male hormones causes excess hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs or toes.

Skin changes – Includes Acne, oily skin, or dandruff.

Obesity – Abnormal weight-gain, usually with extra weight around the waist and difficulty in reducing weight.

Hair thinning – Increased androgen levels may cause male-pattern baldness due to excessive hair fall.

Acanthosis nigricans- Patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs that are thick, velvety, dark brown or black.

Skin tags– Excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area

.Pelvic pain- Few women with PCOS experience dull aching pain in lower abdomen. This is may be due to low-grade inflammation.

Abnormality in mental health– There may be anxiety or depression, low level of confidence due to change in their physical appearance.

Sleep apnea– Breathing stops for short periods of time while sleeping, which make you feel tired even after sleeping.

Effects of PCOS in pregnant woman-

Woman with PCOS have higher chance of-

MiscarriageGestational diabetesPIH- Pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsiaPremature delivery.Multiple pregnancies (if ovulation is induced by medications)

Diagnosis of PCOS

Blood tests – Your blood is tested for various hormones, Thyroid function test, Lipid and diabetic profile.Ultrasound scan – To examine your ovaries, uterus and endometrium.

Management of PCOS in Modern Medicine

According to modern medicine there is no cure for PCOS, it can be only managed by medicines and lifestyle modifications. But medications used to manage PCOS have their own side effects like nausea, vomiting, sleep disturbance, unusual vaginal bleeding other than menstruation, nervousness, fatigue, breast tenderness, diarrhea or constipation, stomach bloating, change in appetite, weight gain or loss, acne and vision disturbance. PCOS treatment in Ayurveda is therefore all about managing it well with all the lifestyle changes and thus, minimizing all the side effects slowly.


Treatment includes

Medications- Birth control pills to regularize periods, metformin to reduce insulin resistance.

Fertility treatment to induce ovulation, artificial insemination,IVF, etc.Surgical procedure like ovarian drilling and cyst aspiration.

Laser treatment or medication to reduce hirsutism.

Benefits of Panchakarma in Women with PCOS

  • Reduces body weight.
  • Decreases insulin resistance.
  • Regulates normal hormone secretion. Fine tunes the endocrine system.
  • Remove toxins.
  • Corrects body metabolism.
  • Mental faculties, strength and vitality are enhanced.
  • Promotes fertility.

Internal medicines useful in PCOS

  • Saptasaram kashayam, Varunadi kashayam, Dashamoola kashayam, Tila kashaya and Sukumaram kashayam.

  • Kumaryasava, Ashokarishta

  • Hinguvachadi churna, Shatavari, 

  • Ashwagandha churna.

  • Raja pravartini vati, Chandraprabha vati, Kanchanar guggulu.

  • Pippalyadi taila.

All these medicines destroy the cyst, stimulates ovulation, induces menstruation, regulates flow during menstruation and aides conception naturally.


  • Minimise the quantity of milk intake. Avoid curds and other milk products. Drink well churned butter milk.
  • Avoid day sleep and waking up at night times.
  • Avoid junk and non-vegetarian foods (You can eat fish occasionally)
  • Use garlic, fennel seeds, sesame seeds regularly in cooking.
  • Drink a detoxifying Tea like the 
Yoga in PCOS

Practise pranayama and meditation.  Here are some yogasanas that are beneficial for treating PCOS-related symptoms:

  • Suryanamaskar
  • Bhujangasana
  • Salabhasana
  • Badha konasana
  • Dhanurasana
  • Supta vajrasana
  • Sirsasana
  • Sarvangasana
  • Matsyasana

Get rid of PCOS and its complications through ayurveda and by following a healthy lifestyle.  Let us know in the comments how you manage PCOS and if any of these tips are useful in dealing with the symptoms of PCOS.


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