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PCOS in Adolescents

Irregular periods in young age.If you or someone known to you is suffering from irregular periods, it is very important to know that it may be due to many causes.

After menarche( when the periods appear for the first time) periods are naturally irregular for the first year during pubertal transition. After the first till 3 years post menarche a cycle of 21 to 45 days is considered normal. After three years a cycle of 21-35 days is taken as normal. A single episode of three months of missing periods or less than 8 cycles in a year requires further evaluation by a gynaecologist near you. There can be many causes like hormonal imbalance  like Thyroid( look out for symptoms like heat or cold intolerance, weight fluctuations, constipation) and Prolactin ( esp if any nipple discharge or taking over the counter antacids, or any other drug intake).

PCOS, short form of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is becoming more common in India and especially to those adolescents who are obese and have a family history of diabetes. The prevalence of PCOS varies from 6-20%. PCOS has long term implications, so we need to screen all adolescents for it. Those girls with irregular periods and/or with appearance of dark, coarse, usually 5 mm or longer hair in mouschache, beard or other androgen dominant area have to be tested.

These girls( within 8 years of menarche do not need ultrasound evaluation for ovarian cysts. For relevant examination and blood tests see a gynaecologist near you.

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