On This Doctors Day: Gynaecologist’s Advice on PCOS, Menopause & Screening in Pregnancy

On This Doctors Day: Gynaecologist’s Advice on PCOS, Menopause & Screening in Pregnancy

New Delhi (India), July 1: Today, on Doctor’s Day, we gather to pay homage to a remarkable group of medical professionals – gynecologists, the champions of women’s health. These compassionate healers work tirelessly, providing comprehensive care and guidance to women in every stage of life. From adolescence to motherhood, from menopause to beyond, gynecologists are the stalwart advocates who empower women with knowledge, support, and personalized medical solutions.

Dr. Seema Pandey, Director & Chief Consultant – Seema Hospital & Eva Fertility Clinic & IVF Centre, Atraulia, Azamgarh, MBBS, MD, FICOG, Fellow in Reproductive Medicine & Minimal Access Surgeries, Dip In USG, Uttar Pradesh

PCOS, the most common lifestyle disease among young women, is characterized by hormonal imbalance. Symptoms include menstrual irregularities, unwanted hair growth (hirsutism), subfertility, and resistant weight gain. Elevated levels of male hormones (testosterone) and insulin resistance are the main culprits behind these problems. They lead to anovulation and increase the risk of other metabolic diseases. While there is no permanent cure for PCOS, its effects can be managed through lifestyle changes and guidance from a gynecologist. To maintain hormonal and physical health, engage in regular physical exercises such as walking and household chores. Practice mindful eating by following a balanced, hypo-caloric diet. Prioritize mental health through stress reduction techniques and enjoyable activities. Regular check-ups and adherence to prescribed treatments are essential. Seek support from loved ones or support groups if feelings of loneliness, anxiety, or depression arise. By implementing these recommendations, PCOS can be effectively managed, promoting overall well-being.

Dr. Ramasamy Shoba, MBBS, DGO, DNB (O&G), MNAMS, M.Med (Family Medicine), Mangai Women’s Clinic, Chennai

PCOS, a severe form of PCOD, is a metabolic disorder characterized by hormonal imbalance, causing irregular ovulation, menstrual problems, infertility, acne and skin darkening, loss of scalp hair, unwanted hair growth on the body and face, fatigue, weight gain, pelvic pain, and multiple small cysts in the ovaries. Heredity and stress play important roles. Excess androgen, insulin, and chronic low-grade inflammation are involved. Complications include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, vascular disease, stroke, obesity, mental health issues, sleep apnea, pregnancy complications, and endometrial cancer. Regular screening for BP, glucose, lipids, hormones, anxiety, depression, and sleep apnea is crucial. Lifestyle changes, diet modifications, and hormone treatment are key. Maintain a healthy weight, be active, exercise, follow a low-carb diet, and prioritize sleep. Both PCOS and PCOD are common disorders, yet they are often treated as something shameful, to be kept under wraps, due to their association with menstrual periods, which is considered a secret zone. Education about menstruation, sex, and sexuality is vital to combat stigma and misinformation surrounding these common disorders.

Dr. Sandeep Talwar, Senior Consultant – Nova- Southend Fertility Clinic, New Delhi

PCOS, the most common lifestyle disease among young women, is characterized by hormonal imbalance. Symptoms include menstrual irregularities, unwanted hair growth (hirsutism), subfertility, and resistant weight gain. Elevated levels of male hormones (testosterone) and insulin resistance are the main culprits behind these problems. They lead to anovulation and increase the risk of other metabolic diseases. While there is no permanent cure for PCOS, its effects can be managed through lifestyle changes and guidance from a gynecologist. To maintain hormonal and physical health, engage in regular physical exercises such as walking and household chores. Practice mindful eating by following a balanced, hypo-caloric diet. Prioritize mental health through stress reduction techniques and enjoyable activities. Regular check-ups and adherence to prescribed treatments are essential. Seek support from loved ones or support groups if feelings of loneliness, anxiety, or depression arise. By implementing these recommendations, PCOS can be effectively managed, promoting overall well-being.

Dr. Suyesha Khanijao, IVF expert, Obstetrician& GynecologistFellowship in Advanced Endoscopy, Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine, ICOG Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine, Director – Angel’s Hope Clinic A Unit of Sawan Neelu Angels Hospital, Delhi
In today’s era, it is crucial for us to understand the prevalence and impact of PCOS, as it seems that every second patient walking into my clinic is suffering from this condition. While much attention has been given to the hormonal aspects of PCOS, its effects on mental well-being are often ignored or overlooked. PCOS, the most common endocrine disorder affecting about 20% of women of reproductive age in Western society, is strongly associated with infertility, with at least 90% of women attending fertility clinics having PCOS. The symptoms of PCOS, such as hirsutism, obesity, acne, and infertility, can be painful, uncomfortable, and culturally defined as unfeminine and undesirable. Moreover, the disorder is linked to biochemical disturbances that can lead to mood disturbances. Interviews with women with PCOS reveal a prevailing theme of feeling “freakish” and being unable to conform to societal norms of femininity. Reduced quality of life is experienced by those with PCOS, manifesting as sexual dissatisfaction, depression, anxiety, bodily pain, weight difficulties, and impaired interpersonal functioning.

Dr. Amreen Singh, MBBS, MD, ISAR Aspire Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine, Sr. Consultant, Fertility and IVF department, Yatharth Hospital, Noida
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women, causing symptoms like irregular periods, acne, weight gain, hair loss, and insulin resistance. These symptoms make it challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle and increase the risk of other health issues. Hormone regulation is crucial for managing PCOS symptoms and improving overall health outcomes. To achieve this, conscious steps must be taken towards a better lifestyle and habits. Some simple tips for hormone regulation in women with PCOS include maintaining a healthy diet, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, managing stress through techniques like meditation and yoga, considering supplements like chromium and omega-3s, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol, managing insulin resistance with healthcare provider guidance, and prioritizing quality sleep. By following these tips, women with PCOS can take control of their hormone regulation, leading to better health and well-being.
 
Dr. Shreyasi Sharma, MBBS, MD (ObGyn), DNB, Fellowship in Fetal Medicine, Fetal Medicine Foundation UK (FMF UK) accredited, Founder and Director Fetal Medicine and Genetics Centre, Gurgaon
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is among the most common causes of infertility in women. The proportion of women being diagnosed with PCOS has increased over the last decade. This increase can be primarily attributed to lifestyle choices. The features of PCOS include irregular menstruation, acne, weight gain, and hair loss/gain. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but factors such as insulin resistance, excess androgen production, and genetic predisposition could play a role.

Diagnosing PCOS involves a combination of assessing medical history, physical examinations, performing laboratory tests, including measuring hormone levels and conducting ultrasound imaging of the ovaries. Managing PCOS requires treating individual components through therapy and counselling. The choice of therapy depends on whether the patient is seeking pregnancy or not.

PCOS is a manageable condition, and women should not become overly worried. The foundation of management lies in making lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and managing weight.

Dr. Suruchi Desai, DNB, DGO, DFP, FCPS, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai

Menopause marks the end of menstrual cycles, diagnosed after 12 consecutive months without periods. It can occur in the 40s or 50s. The average age for Indian women to stop menstruating is around 48 to 50 years. Premature menopause refers to menopause before 40 years, while delayed menopause occurs after 52 years. This natural process brings physical symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, difficulty losing weight (especially around the abdomen), and emotional disruptions such as sleep disturbances, reduced energy, anxiety, and anger. Vaginal dryness, decreased libido, increased urinary frequency, and irregular cycles are also common. Thinning hair, increased facial hair, breast changes, and dry or pigmented skin can be distressing. Diagnosis is straightforward, and treatment varies based on symptom severity and medical conditions. Topical lubricants or estrogen can address vaginal dryness, while medications, hormonal or non-hormonal, can alleviate hot flashes. Hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed under medical supervision. Lifestyle adjustments, calcium supplements, vitamin D, exercise, sunscreen, and meditation aid in managing menopausal symptoms. Regular follow-up with a gynecologist is crucial for heart and bone health.

Dr. Aanchal Sablok, MS (OBG), DNB (OBG), Fellowship Fetal Medicine (FMF-UK), Consultant Fetal Medicine, Apollo Cradle and Children’s Hospital, Moti Nagar, New Delhi

On this Doctor’s Day, I would like everyone to acknowledge the importance of the First-Trimester Genetic Scan.

Down syndrome (DS) is the most common cause of developmental delay and accounts for 15-30% of individuals with intellectual disability. In India, 21,400 children with DS are born every year.

The NT/NB scan, when performed properly at 11-13+6 weeks of pregnancy, has an accuracy of around 70% in screening for DS. If the Double Marker test is added to the NT/NB scan, the sensitivity increases to 92-95%. Apart from screening for DS, the first-trimester scan can detect structural abnormalities (birth defects) in the developing baby. New guidelines also suggest that it is an excellent time to screen for the risk of developing hypertension and preterm labor in pregnancy. Therefore, screening for both fetal and maternal conditions at the right time ensures a healthy pregnancy outcome.

“Screening for maternal and fetal conditions in pregnancy and timely intervention ensures a healthy pregnancy outcome!”

Gynecologists, with their specialized knowledge, diagnostic skills, and up-to-date research, offer valuable insights into the management of PCOS and hormonal imbalances. They provide personalized treatment plans, lifestyle recommendations, and ongoing support to help women regain hormonal balance and improve their overall well-being.

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