Role of Physiotherapy in PCOS

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Women’s health is emerging as a major stream in the line of health practitioners, and has seen tremendous change and growth in the past few years in regards to the awareness and overall approach in dealing with women specific conditions.  A commonly heard name today is PCOS or Poly Cystic ovarian Syndrome.

So what exactly is PCOS?

It is a condition where the hormonal synergy goes out of balance in women, and today we see as much as 5 – 20 % of females in the age bracket of childbearing capacity affected by it.

A lady with PCOS will have many small cysts or follicles formed in the ovaries, now though these cysts do have eggs in them, but the eggs do not get a chance to mature,  because in  such women, the ovaries do not produce hormones which  help in egg maturation. When the egg doesn’t escape, the cyst not only remains inside, but keeps on building in the ovaries, and this ultimately prevents ovulation. To add to it further the ovaries start producing male hormones, making things more complicated for the sensitive female hormonal structure.

When ovulation is affected, there will be changes in one’ periods, making it difficult for the woman to get pregnant. It is no surprise that PCOS has notoriously come be identified as the commonest cause of Infertility

It does bring about unwanted cosmetic changes in one’s appearance, but should be taken care of well in time, as early diagnosis and treatment can help avoid major health issues like type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

What leads to these changes?

Though the exact causes of PCOS are unknown but experts believe that hormonal imbalance and genetics play a vital role, another prominent reason is stress along with the modern faulty lifestyle, anxiety and depression

How to identify if you have PCOS?

Initially one may feel a few changes like acne, sudden or gradual weight gain without a strong identifiable reason, and may find it very difficult to lose the weight gained. One may not only find unwanted thicker and darker hair on the face and body but also thinning of scalp hair.

The periods are effected and one may either have as less as 7-8 periods or no period in a year, while others can have heavy bleeding. The changes can also be psychological in nature causing depression at times.

What is the treatment of PCOS?

Rather than being curative, the treatment manages symptoms and prevents complications. The treatment will vary from one individual to the other.

As it’s much of a lifestyle disorder, taking care of the 4 pillars of a healthy life (healthy food, regular exercise, proper sleep and positive attitude) along with the medical are the key treatments for PCOS.

Doctors may prescribe medication like birth control pills, to treat acne and regulate periods, or anti-estrogen treatment, or medicine for diabetes. Surgery is also an option.

Physiotherapy can help women in prevention and management of PCOS much more than was presumed earlier, the physiotherapy is focused on keeping the ovaries and uterus healthy, managing weight, and taking care of the entire body at large.

A physiotherapist analysis the body’s physical functionality and deep tissues, and uses different forms and kinds of exercises and manipulations to the body, which enables the deep structures to be released, provide necessary flexibility, while also strengthening the pelvic floor and related structures.

Relieving stress is of pivotal importance, in that view, the exercise regime may incorporate various techniques like yoga, deep breathing, therapeutic exercises, and electrotherapy collectively or use any of these individually, based on the individual’s need.

Though there is no one pattern of exercise better than the other, the therapist will suggest a program best suited to one’s lifestyle, be it as simple as walking one’s dog, tending their garden or following a specific regime.

The way we move and functionally work the body, positively affects the hormonal changes, helping them to reverse the symptoms and get pregnant naturally, having healthy full term babies.

Along with medical intervention of the condition, which is of prime importance, physiotherapy can be a very important addition to treatment.

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