PCO / PCOS is the most prevalent hormonal disorder in women of childbearing age. Approx. 20% of all women have PCO, and approx. 15% of women have PCOS.
PCO is the abbreviation for polycystic ovary (ovarian) and means that there are many small cysts (ovaries) on the ovaries. You usually have PCO on both ovaries but can also have it on only one ovary.
PCOS is the abbreviation for polycystic ovarian syndrome and means that, in addition to having PCO, one or more symptoms are associated with PCO. This can be increased facial hair growth or increased acne.
PCO results in decreased fertility and an increased risk of pregnancy complications such as early miscarriage, pregnancy-related diabetes, affected placental function, pregnancy poisoning and premature birth.
There is evidence that a high level of insulin is a major cause of decreased fertility in women. A high insulin level inhibits the burning of fat, thereby creating a vicious cycle where the high insulin level tends to obesity and obesity increases the need for insulin.
Weight loss in overweight patients with PCO results in lower insulin levels, improvement in PCO and thus increased fertility. The need for insulin can also be regulated through the diet by saving on carbohydrates and increasing the intake of protein and fat.
For women with PCO / PCOS, it is important to be physically active. This applies to both those who need to lose weight and with normal weight. This is because physical activity improves insulin sensitivity, which lowers blood insulin levels and increases fertility.
Physical activity also reduces the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Exercise is important for all but especially for women with PCO / PCOS as they may be at greater risk of these lifestyle diseases than other women because of their insulin resistance.
Weight and PCO/PCOS
Women with PCO / PCOS have an increased tendency to be overweight. Being overweight is especially unfortunate for women with PCO / PCOS as the increased adipose tissue further reduces insulin sensitivity, which exacerbates the symptoms of PCO / PCOS.
Due to the increased amount of male sex hormone, weight will especially store around the waist (apple shape). In this connection, it has been found that the more waist fat you have, the greater the fertility problem.