PCOS in the Middle East
Wednesday, September 4th, 2019
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common Endocrinopathy ( hormonal disturbance ) affecting reproductive-aged women, with a prevalence of between 8% and 30 %, depending on the population studied. There is a high incidence of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in the Middle East/GCC region mainly due to hereditary, ethnic and lifestyle influences. Approximately up to 25-30% of women in the GCC of Middle Eastern and South Asian ethnicity suffer from PCOS.
PCOS can present at any age especially after weight gain, but can also first present in young adolescent girls. The symptoms associated with this condition vary, but may include some of the following: irregular or absent menstrual periods, hirsutism (increased hair growth), alopecia (female pattern baldness), oily skin & acne, weight-related issues, and infertility or difficulty in getting pregnant, PCOS can be complex with reproductive, metabolic and psychological features. Infertility is a frequently prevalent presenting feature of PCOS with ~75% of these women suffering infertility due to anovulation (a problem in getting a good egg at regular intervals) Lifestyle modifications and weight loss (even 5 percent initial weight loss can be effective ) can help in the control of the hormonal imbalance which is related to insulin resistance. Nutrition advice, carb-controlled diet, and physical exercise are the first-line treatment options for adolescent girls and women with PCOS. Fertility medications like letrozole, clomiphene combined with metformin can enable ovulation to kickstart in these women . Surgical procedures like drilling of ovaries has some role in non-obese women for getting regular periods and achieving pregnancy. Injections ( GONADOTROPINS ) are needed to achieve this in some women. In vitro fertilization can help these couples conceive in resistant cases or if other fertility factors exist. In young women, fertility can be achieved with high success rates, so medical interventions should be sought early if PCOS is diagnosed.
Dr. Monikaa Chawla MD FRCOG (UK)
Consultant Reproductive Endocrinologist And Infertility - OB/GYN