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Facts About PCOS and Menopause in Women

Facts About PCOS and Menopause in Women

PCOS is a condition where hormonal disorder takes place in women. It is general misconception that it can go away with age as the women approaches menopause. But the truth is that PCOS does not help in any ways to stop PCOS symptoms. After menopause, PCOS just start showing different symptoms during or after menopause than in premenopausal period. Both PCOS and menopause are managed by lifestyle practices and medication based on the examination and suggestion of your gynaecologist.

During the perimenopause phase, every woman's ovaries, whether they have PCOS or not, produce fewer hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone hormones that are more abundant in females than in males.

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There are four states of Menopause -

  • Premenopause - No symptoms present and considered to be perfect for reproduction
  • Perimenopause - Transitioning to menopause when symptoms can appear and period becomes irregular
  • Menopause - End of perimenopause; i.e. 12 consecutive months without any menstrual period
  • Postmenopause - The time after menopause

While irregular menstrual periods are common in Premenopause with PCOS, as people with PCOS near Perimenopause, their periods may become more regular. People with PCOS may also have a longer reproductive period, reaching menopause about two years after their peers without PCOS. Research suggests that people with PCOS, experience difficulties with fertility may have increased chances of conceiving as they get older or near their menopause.

Menopause does not ensure end of PCOS

PCOS is considered to be a condition which may continue throughout life. It needs to be managed even after menopause or end of fertility period.

People with PCOS and without PCOS go through similar changes when they reach perimenopause and menopause. There are several factors associated with PCOS which commonly appear during perimenopause for people who don't have PCOS symptoms. These include:

  • Increase in insulin resistance
  • Fat accumulation around the belly part
  • Increase in cholesterol levels
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Excessive or abnormal facial hair growth

PCOS patients tend to experience such changes much before, often before perimenopause and, therefore, are exposed to these risk factors for a longer amount of time.

Does PCOS and Menopause have Common Symptoms?

PCOS is a medical condition, while menopause is a normal life phase like puberty. But just as puberty and PCOS can have some common symptoms, so does PCOS and menopause.

Common symptoms that can occur with PCOS and Menopause are:

  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Infertility
  • Weight gain, especially around the tummy
  • Mood swings or changes
  • Sleep problems
  • Hair growth in areas such as the face and chest
  • Thinning of hair

How can a PCOS patient know they are starting to experience Perimenopause?

A PCOS patient already has some symptoms of perimenopause like irregular periods and infertility. But when symptoms of perimenopause that are not common in PCOS start appearing, like: Hot flashes, Night sweats, Vaginal dryness, discomfort during intercourse, Urinary urgency, Urinary tract infections (UTI), one should know that it can be the onset of perimenopause. Symptoms of perimenopause vary from person to person.

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Useful Menopause Resources To Read:

  • Menopause - Everything Indian Women Need To Know About
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