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Understanding PCOS: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

2023-09-19 10:37:36

 Why Are Young Women Nowadays Mostly Suffering From PCOS? Is Lifestyle Change A Culprit To Blame?

PCOS is a hormone-related problem that is prevalent in females during reproductive years. Women affected by PCOS are known to develop small cysts in their ovaries. These days, we see an increasing number of young women of reproductive age suffering from this disorder. As per Statista, the results of a survey done in India in 2020 state that 16% of women respondents between the ages of 20 and 29 years suffered from PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome

Though genetic reasons are believed to be the main cause, experts believe that a sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, and increasing stress, especially among young urban females, are also some of the leading PCOS causes. It is believed to affect urban women more than those staying in rural areas due to their poor lifestyle habits. This blog will explore the role of lifestyle changes as a possible cause for PCOS.


Understanding PCOS

Though currently, PCOS has no cure, knowing about this condition and its impact on health and other aspects of life can assist in proper management.

In some females, PCOS can occur even without visible symptoms. However, these are the key PCOS symptoms seen in women who are affected by the disorder:

  • Irregular or missed periods

  • Too much production of the hormone called Androgen 

  • Polycystic ovaries


Complications related to PCOS

Women afflicted with PCOS are believed to be at higher risk for developing heart problems, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and endometrial cancer. They may also have infertility issues problems, leading to difficulty in getting pregnant.


When to seek a doctor’s help:

  • If you notice too much hair growth

  • Reduced or no menstruation

  • Discomfort in the pelvic region

  • Difficulty in getting pregnant

  • Excessively oily skin

  • Gaining weight, especially in the stomach area

Changing Lifestyle And Its Effects

People today are always in a hurry and are multitasking to get many things done. This has made them forget how essential it is to exercise, eat right, sleep well, and maintain an emotional balance. 

Due to lack of exercise, they are gaining weight and becoming obese. It is leading to metabolic imbalances like insulin resistance, causing hormonal imbalance.

During high stress, the body releases cortisol, the stress hormone, further adding to the creation of male hormones in the body. In addition, women diagnosed with PCOS worry about issues like male pattern balding, excess facial and body hair, menstrual irregularities, and infertility, impacting their mental health. 

Suppressed emotions, fear, age, and negativity also add to their stress. As per a study made in Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, to examine psychological distress in women with PCOS, the disorder affects the quality of life in women and can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Dietary Recommendations For PCOS Management

What you eat has a significant impact on PCOS. With the right dietary changes, you can manage PCOS symptoms better. Since increased body weight and a sedentary lifestyle are linked to insulin resistance, getting sufficient exercise will help in losing weight, improve the body’s response to insulin, and minimize the risk of diabetes.


Food to add to your diet if you have PCOS:

  • Meals with a low glycemic index, like whole grains, nuts, fruits, and legumes, to prevent sugar levels from rising suddenly

  • Anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, berries, and virgin olive oil to reduce inflammation-related symptoms

  • Healthy fats like coconuts, avocados, and nuts like walnuts, almonds, or pistachios

  • Spices like cinnamon and turmeric that are anti-inflammatory

  • Fruits that are dark red in colour, like blueberries and cherries

  • Drink sufficient water to prevent dehydration


Foods to stay away from:

  • Refined foods high in carbohydrates, like pastries and white bread

  • Processed meats like sausages or salami

  • Red meat like steaks or hamburgers

  • Sugary drinks like energy drinks or sodas

  • Fast foods like burgers and pizzas


Healthy Tips To Manage PCOS

Once you consult a medical practitioner and confirm you have PCOS through PCOS diagnosis, you can incorporate the following lifestyle and diet changes to minimise your symptoms.


  • Maintain a proper sleep schedule and try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Add 30 minutes of exercise like cardio, walking, or strength training to your routine to maintain a healthy weight, balance your hormones, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Disconnect from gadgets like mobile phones an hour before sleep
  • Join social support networks will help reduce your stress and maintain your mental health



Evidently, poor lifestyle habits, inappropriate sleeping patterns, stress, and wrong nutrition have a significant role in PCOS, along with other factors like genetics. If you notice PCOS symptoms, meet a gynaecologist and share your concerns. You may need to take the recommended tests for a proper PCOS diagnosis. The sooner you begin your treatment, the quicker you will feel better.

With corrections in your diet and lifestyle and PCOS treatment, you will feel a reduction in your PCOS symptoms, improve your life quality, and prevent further complications. 

Treatment with oral contraceptives is also believed to regulate the menstrual cycle and decrease PCOS symptoms. The use of Metformin is known to make periods more regular. and even makes weight loss easier.

At Hexamed, we have exclusive packages for diagnosis that you can avail of to get a thorough evaluation and the best possible treatment.


  1. Is PCOS curable?

Currently, there is no cure for PCOS, but its symptoms can be managed with PCOS treatment and lifestyle changes.

  1. How is PCOS diagnosed?

Your gynaecologist will ask questions about your symptoms and discuss menstrual irregularities, weight changes, and fertility issues. You may have to take a physical exam to check signs of excessive hair growth or acne. A pelvic exam will also be done to check your reproductive organs for masses or growth. You may have to take blood tests to check your hormone levels. An ultrasound may also be required to examine the appearance of the ovaries.

  1. If you have PCOS, what are you at risk for?

Patients with PCOS are at risk for conditions like diabetes, hypertension, endometrial cancer, or depression.

  1. Will PCOS impact fertility?

The hormonal imbalance caused by PCOS can interfere with ovulation, leading to fertility issues.