Uncovering the Untold: Exploring the Secrets of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition in women of reproductive age that affects their hormonal balance and metabolism. Since it can have significant implications for their reproductive health and general wellbeing, preconception care for women with PCOS is a critical aspect of their healthcare. The 2023 international evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of PCOS provides valuable insights into this domain.
– Dr. G. A. Ramaraju DNB PhD, Consultant Krishna IVF Clinic
Weight and Body Mass Index (BMI):
Women with PCOS often struggle with weight management, which can exacerbate their symptoms and decrease their chances of getting pregnant. Maintaining a healthy weight is, therefore, crucial for managing PCOS symptoms and improving fertility outcomes. Strategies such as dietary modifications, physical activity, and lifestyle changes can help women with PCOS lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI. Even a modest weight loss, about 5-10%, can significantly improve PCOS symptoms.
Women with PCOS have a higher likelihood of developing hypertension or high blood pressure, which can lead to cardiovascular diseases and complications during pregnancy. Regular monitoring and management of blood pressure are, therefore, essential for women with PCOS. Lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, and weight management, along with appropriate medical treatments, can help control blood pressure levels.
PCOS can have an adverse impact on women’s overall health and reproductive outcomes, and certain lifestyle factors can further exacerbate these effects. Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake are essential for reducing cardiovascular risks and improving fertility outcomes.
Diet and Nutrition:
A balanced diet is crucial for managing PCOS symptoms and ensuring optimal nutritional status in women with PCOS. Adequate folate supplementation is also necessary for individuals with a BMI over 30 kg/m2 to decrease the risk of fetal neural tube defects. Strategies for incorporating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains while limiting processed foods and sugars can help women with PCOS manage their symptoms and improve their overall health.
Regular exercise is vital for women with PCOS as it can help manage weight, improve insulin resistance, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Strategies for a combination of aerobic and resistance training exercises for at least 150 minutes per week can help women with PCOS maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Adequate and restful sleep is crucial for overall health and wellbeing. Poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances can worsen the metabolic and psychological aspects of PCOS. Strategies for good sleep hygiene practices, treating sleep disorders, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help women with PCOS get the quality sleep they need.
Mental, Emotional, and Sexual Health:
PCOS can have a profound impact on women’s mental well-being, emotional health, and sexual function due to its symptoms and associated conditions. Strategies for psychological support, counseling, and therapy can help women with PCOS address these issues and improve their quality of life. Open communication with partners and healthcare providers about sexual health concerns is also essential.
PCOS is a multifaceted condition that requires a holistic approach to healthcare. Addressing all aspects of health and lifestyle in preconception care is critical for improving reproductive outcomes and overall quality of life in women with PCOS.
European Society of Endocrinology. Clinical Practice Guideline. European Journal of Endocrinology, 2023, 189, G43–G64. Advance access publication 15 August 2023. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejendo/lvad096