PCOS Image Blog 06SEP 2018

I have PCOS. What is it?

Posted on September 6, 2018 in , ,

 

Are you living in Singapore and do you have PCOS? This can be a really difficult condition to live with and having a robust expat health insurance package while you are living in Singapore can definitely help make your journey with PCOS a lot easier.

If you have any questions about PCOS or infertility, don’t hesitate to call us today. We can help you find a medical insurance package here in Singapore that will get you maximum cover. Our friendly, compassionate team will help explain to you how you can use best your Singapore healthcare insurance, so that you can get the answers that you need with minimum fuss. Leave your details here if you need someone to contact you.

WHAT IS PCOS?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It is a hormonal imbalance that can affect anywhere from 2 – 25% percent of women. This figure fluctuates so much because within this percentage is estimated that 70% of women are undiagnosed and have no idea that they have it. It is really tricky and frustrating to identify, and the symptoms are so varied that it can often take a lot of time and testing to get a conclusive PCOS diagnosis. It is for this very reason that it helps to make sure that you have strong expat health insurance in Singapore. If you have any questions with regard to this, drop us a line and we can help you out.

PCOS affects the ovaries and their production of estrogen and progesterone. Because these are the hormones that regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle, when these are out of whack it can mean that periods are irregular. This makes tracking ovulation difficult and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all, which means that no egg is being released so a pregnancy cannot happen. The three biggest tell-tale signs are:

  • Cysts in and on the ovaries. An ultrasound should be able to check this out pretty easily.
  • Elevated androgens or male hormones. This can be characterized by a bit more facial and bodily hair. This can also be verified through blood tests.
  • Irregular or skipped periods. This is usually the clearest warning sign. As soon as you start noticing or experiencing this, speak to your GP and/or your OBGYN.

PCOS is one of the biggest causes of infertility amongst women of child bearing age, so it’s super important to start investigating as soon you think that something might be up. As mentioned earlier, testing can be arduous and rigorous, so making sure that you have good health insurance and enough time up your sleeve as possible is ideal.

WHAT CAUSES IT AND WHY DO I HAVE IT?

The short answer is, no-one knows. It’s so difficult to pin down any group of definitive factors and that’s what makes the PCOS journey so frustrating for so many women. The symptoms and severity are wide and varied, which makes a conclusive diagnosis and treatment so challenging. No one PCOS sufferer is the same as the next. There are few theories about the causes floating around which are:

  • It’s genetic. But before you round the finger of blame on one of your parents, it’s a combination of genes. Including your own. Sorry.
  • It is estimated that up to 70% of women who have PCOS have insulin resistance. This means that their cells can’t use insulin effectively. This messes with the ovaries causing them to produce more of the male androgen hormones than they should. This can also be a symptom of, as well as a contributor to obesity and this really exacerbates frustration and confusion in many PCOS sufferers.
  • Having increased levels of inflammation. Being overweight or obese can also encourage this, but sometimes it’s hard to pin down whether the obesity and inflammation is a cause or a symptom.

COMMON TREATMENTS FOR PCOS

The great thing about living in Singapore is that there is so much funding for medical research and if you are covered under a good health care insurance plan in Singapore, the diagnostic testing will be meticulous and thorough. The most common treatments for PCOS are:

  • Daily birth control pills containing estrogen and progesterone to help regulate periods again.
  • The diabetes medication metformin which can help in improving insulin resistance.
  • Monthly doses of Clomid which is a very common fertility drug that stimulates the ovaries and gets them ovulating.
  • A surgical procedure called Ovarian Drilling. This is when tiny holes are lasered into the walls of the ovaries and this helps to restore normal ovulation.
  • Lifestyle interventions like weight loss through diet and exercise are also helpful

If you suspect that you may have PCOS, contact a healthcare professional today. If you need any advice on what health care insurance in Singapore you need for your PCOS journey, reach out today and we would be more than happy to help.

It is a tough and sometimes long journey, but with the right medical care and support, plenty of women manage their PCOS successfully and go on to have healthy families of their own. Call us if you have any questions and we’ll help you to get some answers.

 

 

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