PCOS AND MENOPAUSE
Menopause is caused by a gradual fall in a woman’s hormone levels, while a hormonal imbalance causes polycystic ovary syndrome. But can the reduction in sex hormones that brings on menopause cure the imbalance that causes polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that leads to cysts growing on a woman’s ovaries. It happens when the sex hormones progesterone and estrogen are out of balance.
Menopause is once a woman’s periods stop fully, after a gradual reduction in sex hormone levels.
As both PCOS and menopause relate to changes in sex hormones, people may wonder how they are connected or if one cures the other.
Do PCOS and menopause affect each other?
A woman is considered to have gone through menopause when she has not had a period for 12 months. The average age this happens is at 51 years.
Women with PCOS tend to go through menopause an average of 2 years later than women without the condition.
Menopause does not cure PCOS. When ladies bear climacteric, they may still experience symptoms of PCOS, as well as symptoms of menopause.
Role of hormones
The different roles that hormones play in causing menopause and PCOS are explored below.
Hormones in PCOS
The symptoms that women with PCOS experience are the result of an imbalance in sex hormones. However, the cause of this imbalance is not well understood.
Women with PCOS produce a higher level of the male sex hormone testosterone than most women do. They may also have a lower level of the female sex hormone progesterone.
Increased levels of testosterone cause symptoms, which are explored in the section below. The increase also affects the way another hormone called insulin works. Insulin helps to control blood sugar levels.
An increased level of testosterone in women can make their bodies more resistant to insulin. This means that insulin is no longer able to control blood sugar levels effectively, which leads to high blood sugar levels, and an increased risk of diabetes.
Hormones in menopause
Menopause is caused by a gradual reduction in the female sex hormones progesterone and estrogen. The reduction starts years before menopause proper. This period is called perimenopause.
Over time, once the female sex hormone levels are low enough, a woman stops ovulating. This causes her to stop menstruating.
The reduction in hormones that happens in the lead up to menopause does not redress the imbalance of hormones that causes PCOS. As such, menopause does not cure PCOS.
Treatment and self-management
There are several ways that women can help manage the shared symptoms of perimenopause and PCOS. These include the following:
Both menopause and PCOS can cause weight gain. Regular exercise and a healthful diet may help to make weight management easier.
Both the PCOS and perimenopause cause weight gain. This can increase the chance of type 2 diabetes.
Weight can be managed by:
- controlling plate and portion size
- reducing carbohydrate intake
- eating fresh fruit and vegetables
- exercising regularly
- Improving sleep
Both PCOS and perimenopause will build it laborious to sleep. People will offer themselves the most effective probability of sleeping well by rising their sleep routine.
- going to bed and obtaining up at regular times
- reducing clutter and electronic screens in the bedroom
- doing something relaxing before bed
Managing unwanted hair
Both PCOS and perimenopause can cause unwanted hair growth, which can be distressing. Waxing, plucking, or using hair removal cream may help.
Speaking to a doctor or beauty therapist for advice on the best way to remove hair is a good idea for those who are worried. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medication to help.
One of the most differentiating symptoms of perimenopause that younger ladies with PCOS might not expertise is hot flashes. The following ideas may help manage hot flashes:
- wearing thin fabrics
- wearing layers that can be removed easily
- keeping rooms at a cool temperature
- cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
You can also read our last blog on pcos and fertility:-
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