4 Types of PCOS: A Comprehensive guide.

PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome1, is of four types, and knowing the kinds of PCOS can help you determine the best way forward. Before learning about the types of PCOS, first, let’s find out more about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a type of chronic disease caused by hormonal imbalance in the body.

As it is a chronic disease, it cannot be cured entirely, but the sufferer can take several measures to reduce the effects of PCOS and other health-related risks.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome occurs when the level of androgen2, a male hormone sex hormone that should be present among women in small amounts, gets high.

According to the name of the condition, which is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, everyone believes that having cysts in the ovaries is what the condition is all about. That is entirely wrong.

Some women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome do not develop cysts in their ovaries. Instead, the androgen level is high, while some do develop cysts in their ovaries.

Even if you have polycystic ovaries but no high androgens hormone, you do not have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. The cause of Polycystic ovary syndrome is a high level of androgen in the body.

It is also possible that even if you experience irregular periods that are generally connected to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome but do not have high androgen levels, you do not suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome.

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)? Part I

1. Symptoms Of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The symptoms of PCOS 3mentioned below are of a wide range, and it is not necessary that if you are suffering from some means, you will be diagnosed with PCOS.

The symptoms of PCOS include:

1.1. Irregular Period

Suppression of ovulation causes irregular periods. For some, it can stop entirely for one-two months or more, while for others, the period can be very light or very heavy.

1.2. Excessive Body Hair

Body hair is normal for everyone, but women having PCOS are seen to have excessive hair on the body parts- arms, legs, back, and even stomach.

1.3. Facial Hair

As the level of hormones is imbalanced in PCOS, the male hormone, testosterone which should be present in fewer amounts, increases in PCOS, causing male features to occur in women, such as facial hair.

1.4. Acne and Oily Skin

Most women suffering from PCOS have acne, but some do not. Oily skin is caused by an imbalance of hormones and leads to acne.

1.5. Hair-Fall or Baldness

Hair fall or baldness is also a common symptom for women suffering from PCOS; stress and imbalanced hormones are the contributing factors.

1.6. Weight Gain

Women suffering from PCOS are seen to be obese or overweight.

2. How to Test for PCOS?

The best and proper way to know if you are suffering from Polycystic ovary syndrome is to get tested. There are various ways your doctor can identify your condition from PCOS types:

Blood tests and Ultrasounds

Having an ultrasound done alone is not enough as it will only tell about the cysts in the ovaries. Blood tests are necessary to judge if someone is suffering from Polycystic ovary syndrome or not, as they tell about the androgen and all other hormone levels.

In many cases, it is possible that the patients do not know what they are going through and do not get checked even if they suffer from some of the symptoms mentioned above.

But it is vital to get tested for various types of PCOS4 so that it does not lead to other harmful diseases in the future.

Untreated Polycystic ovary syndrome can become an underlying cause of many diseases like type 2 diabetes, infertility, sleep disorder, depression, heart diseases, uterine cancer, and liver diseases.

3. Types of PCOS

If you have Polycystic ovary syndrome, it is beneficial to know what type of PCOS you are suffering from.

Below are the types of PCOS that one can have:

3.1. Insulin-Resistant PCOS

The most common PCOS among the types of PCOS is Insulin resistant PCOS. High insulin levels in the body prevent ovulation and instead make the ovaries release high levels of testosterone.

Luteinizing hormone level is also increased, which results in high levels of androgen in the body.

How to treat Insulin resistant PCOS?

  • This will come as no surprise; quit sugar if you have insulin-resistant PCOS. Try taking diets with minimal carbs so that the blood sugar level in your body is kept at a lower level.
  • Doing physical activities daily might also help, as exercising helps in burning sugar. Even if you are not exercising, keep yourself active by moving around.
  • All types of PCOS have a common underlying cause which is stress. Make sure to reduce stress in your life. Stress can lead to increased sugar levels in the blood.
  • Patients suffering from insulin-resistant PCOS are generally given supplements that ensure a balanced insulin level in the body.

3.2. Post-Pill PCOS

Post Pill PCOS is only developed when someone has been on birth control pills and experiences the various symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome such as acne, hair fall, and facial hair growth after the pill’s effects have been finished.

If the symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome were present before the pills were taken, you are suffering from a different type of PCOS.

After coming off birth control, medications can cause various side effects, which should not be identified as PCOS. It would be best to get tested only when the symptoms are still present after a long time you have come off the pill.

Birth control pills suppress ovulation which increases the androgen level in the body, the direct cause of Polycystic ovary syndrome.

Birth control pills can also worsen the conditions of patients having insulin-resistant PCOS.5

How to treat Post Pill PCOS?

  • Do not rush to conclude that you have Post pill PCOS. Consult with your doctor as they will help you in identifying the symptoms.
  • Get proper sleep and manage stress.
  • The supplements provided by the doctors can help you with symptom reduction.

3.3. Inflammatory PCOS

Inflammation is the main factor causing all types of PCOS. Inflammatory PCOS is caused when inflammation is the driving cause of Polycystic ovary syndrome.

The inflammation suppresses ovulation, which imbalances the hormonal level, and lack of ovulation leads to a high androgen level produced in the body.

Inflammatory PCOS has the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue.
  • Headaches.
  • Problems related to bowel movement.
  • Skin allergies.
  • Skin problems (like acne)
  • Joint pain.
  • Deficiency of Vitamin D (A blood test can confirm the lack of Vitamin D in the body.)
  • Brain fog.

Is This Your PCOS Type? | Inflammatory PCOS Explained!

How to treat Inflammatory PCOS?

  • Avoid eating foods that can cause inflammation, such as dairy products, refined carbohydrates, and sugar.
  • Increase your gut strength by taking various supplements rich in minerals.
  • Avoid coming in contact with different environmental toxins, such as cosmetic products and cleaning products used in households.
  • Manage your stress effectively as it can worsen your Inflammatory PCOS.

3.4. Adrenal PCOS

When the insulin-resistant, inflammatory, and post-pill PCOS are taken out of the option, the patient may be suffering from adrenal PCOS. The symptoms of adrenal PCOS are pretty similar to the three types mentioned above of PCOS.

Instead of outside factors leading to PCOS, in adrenal PCOS, the underlying cause is the management of stress by the body. Improper management of pressure causes the high release of androgen hormone, particularly the DHEAS hormone released by the adrenal glands.

It is relatively easy to identify adrenal PCOS as the blood test will show only the increased level of DHEAS in the body.

How to treat Adrenal PCOS?

  • Stress management by various methods like meditation, exercising, or yoga can be done.
  • Getting proper is also needed when suffering from adrenal PCOS.
  • Avoid situations that can cause emotional distress.
  • Supplements advised by doctors can also help in managing stress and creating proper sleep patterns.

The Case of PCOS: Evaluating Ovarian and Adrenal Hormones

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is PCOS curable permanently?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disease that can never be cured fully. The only possible way to a smoother life without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is to reduce the symptoms caused by the types of PCOS.

2. What is the root cause of PCOS?

The majority of PCOS symptoms are brought on by androgen overproduction6, which is the term for certain hormones with this function.

Conclusion

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a disease that can never be cured fully. The only possible way to a smoother life without Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is to reduce the symptoms caused by the types of PCOS.

It is also very likely that even if you can reduce the severity of PCOS one time, it can come back if you ignore your body’s needs.

Taking supplements is a ready option available to conquer all types of PCOS. Still, if you are against using them, it is also not a problem as Polycystic ovary syndrome is all about your body’s reactions, and it can be controlled if you want to.

Small lifestyle changes can create a big difference, pay attention to your body, and there will be no problem.

Another factor that should be highlighted is how well you manage stress. It is very easy to say not to stress, but managing stress is relatively more complicated.

But it is not entirely impossible, do what makes you happy and see how your body will react positively to it.

Read more from us here.

  1. Norman, Robert J., et al. “Polycystic ovary syndrome.” The Lancet 370.9588 (2007): 685-697. ↩︎
  2. Burger, Henry G. “Androgen production in women.” Fertility and sterility 77 (2002): 3-5. ↩︎
  3. Hart, Roger, Martha Hickey, and Stephen Franks. “Definitions, prevalence and symptoms of polycystic ovaries and polycystic ovary syndrome.” Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology 18.5 (2004): 671-683. ↩︎
  4. Hirshfeld-Cytron, Jennifer, et al. “Characterization of functionally typical and atypical types of polycystic ovary syndrome.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 94.5 (2009): 1587-1594. ↩︎
  5. Rosenfield, Robert L. “Polycystic ovary syndrome and insulin-resistant hyperinsulinemia.” Journal of the American academy of Dermatology 45.3 (2001): S95-S104. ↩︎
  6. KIRSCHNER, MARVIN A., and J. BRUCE JACOBS. “Combined ovarian and adrenal vein catheterization to determine the site (s) of androgen overproduction in hirsute women.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 33.2 (1971): 199-209. ↩︎

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