pcos prevention
Metabolic Health

Tips to prevent PCOS

‘Prevention is better than cure’ is something that is taken very seriously in the medical fraternity. Any steps taken to prevent a medical condition would always be a better bet than having to deal with its full-blown symptoms. When you get a cold, you make sure to take precautions and not step out in the rain or eat ice cream so that it doesn’t turn into something worse. Similarly, in several other medical conditions, the symptoms may not always be overtly noticeable until the later stages of development. However, in these situations, it would be important to assess and analyze the at-risk factors and any genetic predisposition towards the conditions. For example, if you are aware that diabetes and heart diseases run in the family, taking extra care to maintain a healthy lifestyle in terms of diet and exercise would be vital to prevent or delay the onset. 

One such important aspect would also be regarding PCOS prevention. Since PCOS is prevalent in approximately 1 out of 5 females in India, it can be said that it is a fast-growing disease that needs to be taken care of in the initial stages itself. Many women are not fully aware of the impact that PCOS can create and are also not fully vigilant to be able to effectively identify the symptoms when they first appear. The immediate aim would be to educate and make women all over the globe aware of what PCOS and its symptoms look like so that action can be taken sooner rather than later. 

Can PCOS Be Prevented?

Naturally, one of the first questions that may pop into the mind would be whether PCOS can be prevented in the first place or not. The exact cause of the development of the condition is still unknown. Researchers have narrowed down several correlating factors that could play a role in the development and onset of this condition. A few of these factors can be influenced by people while others may not be under our control. For example, if you have a strong genetic predisposition toward the condition, looking at how to prevent PCOS may not be a very effective search for you. However, doctors and gynecologists do recommend that despite being higher on the at-risk scale, one must take measures to attempt to prevent or at least delay the symptoms. 

Usually, the symptoms of this condition are first observed around puberty or in the early 20s. When the reproductive hormones begin secretion, women with PCOS make significantly increased levels of androgens as compared to the normal levels. This can cause an irregular period cycle and can lead to other complications. Since many PCOS cases have a strong genetic link, it may not always be preventable, several steps can still be taken. 

Tips to prevent & manage Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

The imbalance of the reproductive hormones can create havoc within the body in the short and long term. It can have a severe effect on the process of ovulation and has the power to mess up the regularity of the menstrual cycle. PCOS, therefore, is the leading cause of infertility in today’s times. It can also lead to other issues like obesity, weight gain, insulin resistance, higher cholesterol levels, etc. Since there is no sure-shot cure to PCOS currently, doctors ask women of their reproductive ages to be careful and notice any irregularities or abnormalities regarding their period cycles. 

Moving towards PCOS prevention is the best possible option and educating young girls around the age of early 20s or 30s would be a must. From the beginning, if they follow a certain lifestyle and habits, the chances of them preventing the condition would be much higher. 

Here are a few important healthy changes that need to be made in the lifestyle for effective prevention of the onset of PCOS.

Eating Healthy

Diet changes are one of the best and easiest ways to begin working on preventing PCOS. Eating the right kinds of foods and incorporating healthy food groups in the diet chart would be the best way to delay the onset of the symptoms. A nourishing diet can play a huge part in the proper regulation of the hormones and also the menstrual cycle. Since insulin resistance is also one of the correlating factors associated with PCOS, eating processed foods, high-carb foods, preserved foods, etc can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance. While looking for how to prevent PCOS, eating whole foods, maintaining a balanced diet with the inclusion of carbs, proteins, fiber, etc, and avoiding food groups that are high in sugar would be beneficial. 

Regular Exercise

Exercise is one of the major determining factors in not only PCOS prevention but also in reducing the impact of the symptoms of the condition. Regular exercise helps on multiple levels – it can promote a healthy body weight and can decrease insulin resistance. It is also highly effective in maintaining the proper period cycle. Yes, exercising and working out is important but if you are just beginning the process, you can consult a trainer for the right kind of exercise depending on your body weight, requirements, diet plan, illnesses, etc. Choose the right kind of workout routines that can be customized to meet your needs. Also know about anaerobic exercises list.

Stay Stress-Free

Higher levels of stress result in the secretion of the stress hormone – cortisol. With the help of proper stress management techniques, the levels of this hormone will be maintained at the optimal level. Try out different strategies that may work for you to reduce the stress that you may have. You can try out a predictive approach and plan and prepare for the stress, and at the same time, also take some steps forward in planning how to prevent PCOS. Walks, music, hobbies, yoga, self-care activities, etc are some of the most common methods to manage higher stress levels.

Medications

Since PCOS is a complex issue that can affect different organs in the body, in many cases, medication would be required to deal with the consequences. Supplements can help with the proper regulation of hormones, can also assist with insulin resistance, and can reduce any inflammation associated with or before PCOS. Any drug that you take needs to be prescribed by a medical professional after taking a thorough look at your symptoms and condition. Several vitamins are also given to a woman with PCOS for any additional symptoms that can help to stabilize other parameters that may not be in check. 

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Bottomline

PCOS prevention is long overdue and underrated. It is something that needs to be on the minds of all women who undergo puberty so that any future complications can be nipped in the bud. A few ways to prevent the onset of PCOS would be with the help of a good diet, maintenance of body weight, exercise, a healthy sleep cycle, stress management, medication, etc. 

FAQs

What percent of the population has polycystic ovary syndrome?

PCOS is prevalent in approximately 4 to 20% of all women across the globe. In India, 1 in 5 women is affected by this condition. It is one of the leading endocrine conditions that affect women at their reproductive ages. 

Can you have a baby with PCOS?

PCOS is a hormonal condition. Women with PCOS find it much more difficult to conceive and become pregnant owing to the higher secretion of male hormones (androgens) which can affect the process of ovulation. However, effective management of the symptoms can lead to a healthy pregnancy.

Who is at risk for PCOS?

Any woman undergoing puberty irrespective of race and ethnicity can be at risk for the development of PCOS. The symptoms usually appear during their 20s or early 30s. However, having women in the family experiencing these issues can increase the chances of a genetic component linked to PCOS. Women with an overall unhealthy lifestyle or high body weight can also develop PCOS.

Is fasting good for PCOS?

A healthy meal and diet plan is recommended for women with PCOS to better manage the symptoms. Not every woman would be able to meet the challenges associated with fasting. It would be important to consume small meals throughout the day to keep the insulin levels also regulated.

Is PCOS a serious problem?

Yes, women with PCOS are likely to develop several health complications even later as they age. The risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, uterine cancer, infertility, etc is increased with PCOS. Therefore, looking at how to prevent PCOS would be vital

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