Women's Health

The Possible Relation Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

What symptoms might women with PCOS expect?

Such an imbalance of hormones in the body can lead to insulin resistance, which means that the body isn’t able to regulate its blood sugar levels. Ultimately, this may cause the body to produce more insulin, which actually may raise the level of testosterone in the blood.

Insulin resistance can be a very difficult situation. This condition may lead to obesity, and both obesity and insulin resistance might lead to the development of diabetes type 2. If left untreated, diabetes can damage a wide range of organs within the body.

In PCOS, certain level of fats in the blood may be altered. There may be an increase in LDL levels, or “bad” cholesterol, and a decrease in HDL, or “good” cholesterol. High levels of bad cholesterol may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

In addition to the previously mentioned side effects of PCOS, mental health may also be affected. Physical manifestations, such as unsuccessful pregnancies, unwanted weight gain, skin problems, or facial or body hair growth can cause mood changes which can result in depression or anxiety.

How common is PCOS?

Although there is varying data related to the prevalence of PCOS in women of childbearing age, it is generally thought that one out of every 10 women in the US might expect to develop PCOS at some point during their lifetime. The cause of PCOS is still unknown, but it is possible that those with a family history of the disorder are at a higher risk of developing PCOS. With continued research, it is hopeful that researchers will soon discover the exact cause of PCOS, making both management and prevention more realistic.