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Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a condition that occurs in women starting from their reproductive age with the onset of puberty, i.e., around the age of 13 on average, that happens due to hormonal disbalance in the body. It is not necessary that a young child may acquire the disease right after she matures her reproductive age. Instead, sometimes it is built with time and age.
Scientists are at play recommending numerous causes of PCOs; however, no one could come up with one precise reason. Women with PCOS experience irregular menstrual cycles; their menstrual cycle is prolonged indefinitely, or they might skip a cycle altogether and face complications with regular ovulation.
If you have polycystic ovary syndrome or know somebody who has the condition, the question “Is PCOS genetic?” always comes to mind. Here is almost everything you need to know about PCOS patients.
PCOS is becoming a household name, occurring in every 2 women out of 10. PCOS is a multifactorial disorder due to several factors. Let’s get into it in detail below.
Before we jump to the question “Is PCOS genetic?”, let’s wrap our heads around its concept.
1. What Exactly Is PCOS?
In simple words, Polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder that happens in women at reproductive age, i.e., after a young female reaches puberty. This syndrome is named after the characteristic term of cysts, and to make it clear, cysts are a sign of Polycystic ovary syndrome and not an underlying cause.
According to doctors and scientists, the argument persists on whether PCOS is hereditary or PCOS Genetic, but a distinct conclusion hasn’t been reached yet. There are speculations and backup arguments supporting those claims.
Following multiple sources, each one from distinguished and certified intel, women with PCOS have the following symptoms:
- Oligoovulation and anovulation
- Obvious signs of androgen excess
- Menstrual irregularity and hyperandrogenism
Some common risk factors in almost every PCOS patient are absent periods, prolonged period flow, androgen excess, enlarged ovaries, ovarian cysts, unwanted weight gain, and hirsutism.
Let us proceed further into the matter and try to answer some basic questions you might find relevant to the condition while discovering our undeniable curiosity of “Is PCOS genetic?”.
2. Causes Of PCOS
Genetic composition does not just affect the chances of a woman having or contracting PCOS right from the onset of puberty or even along the way; it might also contribute to some factors. It doesn’t always have to be a direct underlay reason for PCOS. Instead, it could be one of the many reasons that might become a cause.
So when the question comes, “Is PCOS genetic?” it is always recommended that you know every tad bit there is to know about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome before jumping into such a big ocean of a complication.
Sometimes it is acquired in the female body from birth however cannot be traced until the child begins puberty and achieves reproductive age. We have charted down all the probable causes of this syndrome for you, so keep reading and learning!
2.1. External Causes or Environmental Factors That Lead to PCOS in Women
Often, especially among obese women, due to their above-average BMI level (30.0 to above), an increased risk factor is present because of their lifestyle choices and eating habits that make them prone to this condition.
The working algorithm behind this factor is that obesity among women, the fat termed visceral fat present in the abdomen and around the organs, makes a body insulin resistant which is essential as insulin secreted from the pancreas is the medium that helps the cells to absorb sugar, the primary energy source for the body, and so increased insulin resistance leads to increased risk of blood sugar level that further leads to more insulin secretion in the body.
2.1.1. What Happens When There Is an Increased Risk of Insulin Secretion in a Female Body?
Two of the primary dysfunctions that take root in the female body due to increased insulin secretion are :
The individual will develop type 2 diabetes or prediabetes due to disturbed insulin metabolism and might face long-term effects of health deterioration.
Secondly, due to excess insulin secretion, the male hormone, Androgen, which is responsible for infertility in males, is also present in the female body in a minimal amount and is produced in an unwanted amount, resulting in several complications.
When present in a woman, in an abnormal amount, it causes several side effects in the follicular stimulating hormone receptor, which produces FSH or the follicle-stimulating hormone, essential for maintaining the endocrine, and reproductive system and, in case of abnormal secretion, causes PCOS severity.
Excessive production of this hormone results in androgen excessive hair growth in women in strange places (like facial hair), and not just lead to physical deformity like thinning of crown scalp hairline similar to that of “male pattern baldness,” it might also increase the chances of infertility in women.
2.2. Overworking and Stressful Environmental Factors
Not more than often, we find that to live up to the expectations and reputation, a woman, be a mother, a daughter, or a professional, overworks themselves and readers not to sound rude or offensive, but it is a fact that women do that, especially in specialist fields to prove themselves in the mainstream society constantly.
Thus in the process, when they come back home at the end of the day, all they can do is get to the bed and succumb to the soft luxury of the mattress, no matter how rigid the foam is, but is it ideal for the sex to be so pressured down by work and cause oneself physical torture? Well, of course, it is not, but it is what it is!
A stressful environment calls for a stressed-out and stiff body, thus leading to bodily dysfunctions, one of which is PCOS!
No matter how much we argue on the point “Is PCOS genetic?”, there always are external factors present that enhance the already rooted complexity in the female body that further strengthens the genetic disorder.
Let’s get into these assertions in the following few sections.
3. Is PCOS Genetic or Hereditary?
The moment of revelation!
The general approach to the question “Is PCOS Genetic” is often generic, and thus they constantly live in a web of ignorance and misdirection. Here, after studying facts and analyzing authentic sources, we have provided you with the answer to the question. “Is PCOS Genetic?“
4. So Is PCOS Genetic?
Yes! Genetic! Women with PCOS are often found to be a part of a lineage of women in the family with a PCOS history, and even if your mother or sister didn’t have the condition, chances are you might get it if the genetic variants are present in the family even if not dominant in your immediate kin!
Generally, PCOS is often found in obese women, as we’ve already mentioned above. The chances of contraction increase if genetic variants of polycystic ovary syndrome are present in the family tree.
A genetic component has a significant role in a female body even at an early age as a PCOS diagnostic criteria to determine if a person has Polycystic ovary syndrome or not at an initial stage. The thought “Is PCOs Genetic” has been in question for a long time, and thus many experiments have been conducted to draw an answer to it.
Dr Tomer Singer, director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, “This study is a step in the right direction. We’ve known some genetic components because you often see PCOS in families, but this is the first time there’s a correlation with a specific gene.”
But then again, there are a lot of conditions at play here when it comes to the causes of PCOS. External environmental factors like maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle to fasting for long hours.
In these metropolitan times, schedule and eating habits have taken a massive dip in the stats, and for all the right reasons, Whenever we are asked if we have eaten, we politely nod, trying to convince others with our white lies.
5. So What Exactly Happens When You Have PCOS?
In a woman, insulin resistance causes a lot of complications, and all we have discussed is a small portion of it. Genetic variants of diabetes are also a cause of the androgen receptor gene malfunction, which leads to excess ovarian androgen production.
To understand whether is PCOS genetic or not, it is essential to know that PCOS depends on many other health factors like eating habits and family history of bodily abnormalities since they are interdependent, so it is important to find out about the family history of different body dysfunctions.
PCOS women often experience excess imbalanced bodily functions yielding long-term health risks like cardiovascular disease, metabolic dysfunction, elevated testosterone, and glucose intolerance. Women with PCOS face several health issues, some of which are as serious as Sleep apnea. It mainly happens among obese women with PCOS and can only be treated with prescription treatment.
PCOS patients often have cysts or ovarian follicles but busting the myth here! Not every woman with Polycystic ovary syndrome develops ovarian cysts! Only when ovarian cysts1 are accompanied by irregular menstrual cycles, then can it be said that a person has PCOS. These multiple cysts are formed due to hormonal imbalances in the body, but sometimes ovarian cysts are present accompanied by regular menstrual cycles. Those cases with a regular menstrual cycle and cysts are rare and often harmless.
The sex hormone-binding globulin present in female bodies is responsible for regulating sex-steroid synthesis genetic variants producing sex steroid hormones’ availability, thus affecting the sexual health of a female. Sex hormone-binding globulin indirectly correlates with polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance, weight gain, and diabetes type II.
Women with polycystic ovaries face the condition of anovulatory infertility, which occurs when the egg isn’t released from the ovary during the menstrual cycle. This mainly happens because women with polycystic ovaries have a swollen ovary with follicles that surround the egg, thus failing the ovary to function properly naturally, leading to infertility.
Sometimes the risk factors are at high stake. Due to insulin resistance and androgen excess, type II diabetes2, and Ovarian androgen production, ovarian cysts might cause cancer of the uterine lining, commonly referred to as endometrial cancer. PCOS is a common endocrine disorder occurring in many women with polycystic ovary and ovarian follicular stimulating hormone receptors, which produce immature cysts, thus leading to infertility.
6. When Do You Get To Know You Have PCOS?
First things first. Before queuing the question “Is PCOS Genetic” you must know your body and determine whether you have the syndrome. And for further assistance, here’s how you can do an at-home self-assessment before ushering to the Doc!
6.1. At-Home Self-Assessment
Most of the time, if you are getting your periods in a regular cycle with no irregular flow and without any exaggerated pain in your abdomen(other than your usual period cramps), then most probably, you are on the safe side.
However, suppose you are one of those who have difficulty with constant intensive cramps with a very unhinged menstrual cycle, like the writer herself. In that case, she feels for you, and maybe you should get an Ultrasonography 3done ASAP for all. You know, you might have PCOS!
Of course, you cannot do a self-assessment and assert that you have polycystic ovary syndrome by yourself. So, we are, providing you with some signs that might make a visit to the gynaecologist worth it. Take note, ladies, and be ready for the Ovary War!
6.2. Ovarian Cyst
Are you experiencing pain when you are menstruating? Experiencing pain during periods might not always mean that you have PCOS; however, it might ascertain that you have an ovarian cyst.
You’d know better than ovarian cysts might not always imply you have PCOS 4if you’ve been paying enough attention! Only when your menstrual cycle is utterly unpredictable with sharp pain, it might be high time you visit your Gynecologist!
Getting into details about Irregular menstrual cycles, are you experiencing an abnormally prolonged period cycle for a particular month? Or did you skip your cycle for one whole month? Or is it a mix and match of the two scenarios simultaneously? If your flow is out of the ordinary and accompanied by the pain we mentioned earlier, make no mistake and go for a check-up!
6.3. Mood Swings
What about your mood? We know how mood swings get crazy during periods! But are you particularly depressed? Or is your appetite skyrocketing, devouring all the junk that your conscious warned you not to eat? Or is it worse, and you are going on long fasts without reason? No signs should be taken lightly; every tiny detail should be held accountable as diagnostic criteria. After all, Health is Wealth!
6.4. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
One essential aspect that can be considered a diagnostic criterion is obstructive sleep apnea. If you are twisting and turning in your bed all night long and having difficulty breathing and gasping for air, that might signify getting a PCOS diagnosis.
Most people won’t tell you that one of the PCOS symptoms is becoming lethargic at any point of the day.
What happens when you wake up after a night of full sound sleep and, get this, you’re still tired! Does that make sense to you? Here I am telling you that this might indicate something. This might mean you probably have a polycystic ovary tendency, and before long, you might start experiencing other symptoms of PCOS.
Sleep apnea, hyperandrogenic, muscle fatigue, irregular periods, metabolic disorders, and glucose intolerance (rarely) are signs. Look out for them since it might indicate something more serious. What is the harm in getting some tests done to be on the safe side? At most, you might know why your body is acting up in weird ways!
7. PCOS Diagnosis
Here we aim to take you through a detailed diagnostic program to ascertain whether you have polycystic ovary syndrome. Keep reading and learning, folks!
- One primitive and first-handed method is ‘history taking.’ It is precisely what it sounds like. Your doctor takes a detailed routine of your previous period cycles. They also note down certain aspects of your health that are somehow related to the syndrome, like obesity, hirsutism, and acne. This is not positively accurate, but if the odds are in favour, then the presence of all perks might indicate PCOS.
- Gynaecological Ultrasonography. The medical test looks for small cysts or follicles on the uterine lining, often resulting from irregular and dysfunctional menstrual cycles, which is also a primary symptom of a PCOS patient.
- Laparoscopic examination. This medical examination reveals a thick liquid, almost pearly-white in colour, stored as a layer indicating the presence of this condition. These are some of the main diagnostic tests that can be performed to treat PCOS.
8. Dealing With PCOs Physically
We understand how badly you hurt when your monthly cycle starts. And as a cherry on top, the polycystic ovary pain gets as bad and hurts twice as hard. I wish I could say that. Don’t Worry! We have a permanent solution to this everlasting problem. Unfortunately, we don’t! But what I could tell you instead is that there are a few ways by which you could get momentary relief from the constant pain.
- Have you tried the hot packs yet? Coming from ancient cookbooks of life from our grandma’s shelves straight to our rescue, putting a cute flamingo-printed hot pack relieves you from some pain and gives you a good night’s sleep for the time being.
- Recently, women’s hygiene companies have made a roll-on balm that provides some peace and comfort during painful ventures on those days when you’re having a painful period day. Clinically tested, it is harmless, and according to our researched testimonies of women who used it, it is pretty safe to say they did an excellent job with the balm.
- If you have PCOS, you have to get into a proper exercise schedule! Make a habit of working out and strengthening your body to lose weight and stay fit and healthy. Many depend on your body fat percentage, which is directly linked to your endocrine system and hormonal balance!
- Healthify your diet! If you’re one of the typical people, who loves eating outside and gobbling on junk, stop right now! It is time to incorporate iron-rich and fibrous food into your diet to redefine your health and take it to a more pure level. Eat nuts and dry fruits, and do not skip meals! One perk of the crazy busy scheduled days is the skipping of meals, but unfortunately, your entire health depends on what you eat!
- Take supplements. Omega-35 is a very effective supplement for women in their reproductive period. Try zinc, iron, and vitamin B12 supplements for extra support and comfort.
- Going old school and practising meditation always works. Find peace and health connect to yourself on higher ground and release all that extra stress so that your hormonal dysfunction can run away in no time! It is time you met yourself all over again, after all!
- No useless caffeine! Even if your whole morning depends on that first sip of coffee, fight the urge for your sake and skip coffee on an empty stomach! It is unhealthy, ladies! Disastrous for health! We are not asking you to give up on your coffee; we value your sentiments, but maybe take it down a nudge? Just for yourself!
Know what your body wants. One effective way to handle PCOS is knowing what your body needs and when it needs something.
Interact with your inner self and ask what you can do and what you should do to make your life better, fix your lifestyle, and bring a change if need be to your schedule. Health first, ladies! Health first!
9. In The End
There will always be a perk to everything and every situation in life; this is the time for you to be better than you were, to reconnect with yourself after a long lost journey, like coming back home, and there is nothing you can’t overcome once you’ve set your mind for it! After all, independent women have a spine stronger than a bone and a will more complex than a diamond!
The key is communication, though. Also, remember that it is okay to break down once in a while. It is okay not to feel okay about your condition and what you are going through, and it is okay to be angry. But make sure this anger, frustration, and pent-up depression do not get to you. Go to therapy, talk to a professional, get help and advice from them, and find comfort and safety in your body. It always gets better! It always will!
All you have to do is reconnect to yourself, accept your flaws, and work on them with a goal set before you, and there’s nothing that you cannot overcome!
If you liked this article, here is something more.
Q1. Are Pcos Genetically Passed Down?
PCOS often runs in families. Up to 70 percent of girls with PCOS develop the condition, but genetic variation does not fully explain how it runs in families Genome-wide association studies of PCOS genetic susceptibility show that this condition is less than 10 percent heritable.
Q2. Is Pcos Developed or Are You Born With It?
You are born with PCOS, but the symptoms often start in your teens, for some people, it can be as late as their twenties. There are several symptoms that PCOS can cause.
Q3. What Age Does Pcos Start?
Women of all races and ethnicities can have PCOS. It is common for women to find out that they have PCOS when they have trouble getting pregnant, but it usually starts after their first period around the age of 11 or 12. It can develop in the 20s or 30s.
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