In todays’ day and age, more and more women are being diagnosed with PCOS.
Health professionals say that 12-18% of women have PCOS with the youngest age being diagnosed is 11 years old. Of that they anticipate that 20% of women with PCOS will develop type 2 Diabetes by the time they turn 30 and 50% by the time they turn 40.
While there is some information on the possible causes of PCOS, and other health problems linked with PCOS the exact cause is unknown.
However, recent research has gotten closer to understanding WHY women develop PCOS.
— PCOS Assoc Australia (@POSAA) June 24, 2013
Did researchers just discover the ’cause’ behind polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
The New Scientist reports that PCOS may be caused by a hormonal imbalance (get this) before birth.
According to the study, PCOS is a condition that is characterised by levels of testosterone, ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, and problems regulating sugar.
“It’s by far the most common hormonal condition affecting women of reproductive age but it hasn’t received a lot of attention,” says Robert Norman at the University of Adelaide in Australia. What’s more treatments available to help women fall pregnant when suffering with PCOS have less than a 30 per cent rate across five menstrual cycles.
However, researchers have been able to cure PCOS in mice. A clinical trial in human women is now expected to begin later this year.
More about the study
Researcher Paolo Giacobini at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research and his team have found that PCOS may be triggered before birth by “excess exposure in the womb to a hormone called anti-Müllerianhormone.”
The researchers discovered that women with PCOS have a 30 per cent higher level/s of anti-Müllerian hormone than normal.
Often PCOS is a condition that runs in families. Therefore, this encouraged the researchers to ponder whether this hormonal imbalance in pregnancy might induce PCOS in their daughters.
As a result, the team decided to inject excess anti-Müllerian hormone into pregnant mice.
They monitored the mice as they developed and concluded that the mice showed many PCOS symptoms including later puberty, infrequent ovulation, delays in falling pregnant, and fewer offspring.
Excess anti-Müllerian is said to trigger this effect by overstimulating the brain and cells relevant for testosterone production, which therefore increases the level of testosterone in the body.
PCOS cure in mice
The good news is, the researchers were able to reverse the effects of PCOS in the mice by using cetrorelix, an IVF drug routinely used to control women’s hormones.
After receiving this treatment, the mice stopping showing PCOS symptoms.
Now the team plan to treat women in a clinical trail with PCOS later on in the year.
“It could be an attractive strategy to restore ovulation and eventually increase the pregnancy rate in these women,” says Giacobini.
“It’s a radical new way of thinking about polycystic ovary syndrome and opens up a whole range of opportunities for further investigation,” says Norman.
Currently there is no cure for PCOS. In the meantime, we can only manage the condition.
To learn more about how to manage the symptoms of PCOS read this Healthy Mummy blog about PCOS and managing tips.
If you are diagnosed with PCOS, there are great support networks and lifestyle tips to help you. Chat with your GP to learn more.
It is also very important to focus on your health and ensure you remain within a healthy BMI range and exercise regularly to keep your cardio vascular system (heart) healthy.
The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a great great first step in the right direction, it’s loaded with low GI recipes and foods, plus sugar free treats that will help you start your weight loss, better health journey.
In the meantime, here are 7 tips to reduce belly fat if you have PCOS.