Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects 4-20% of women of reproductive age worldwide. While it is normal for women to experience some changes in their menstrual cycle from time to time, consistent changes could be a sign of this common condition.

A new Apple Women’s Health study has now revealed preliminary insights into PCOS, including its potential causes and association with heart health. Here, we will look at what the study found, and how to determine if you might be suffering from the condition.

Study shows 23% of women have a family history of PCOS

According to a recent study, 23% of patients have a family history of PCOS. If your mother or sister have experienced the condition, there is an increased risk that you could too. Only around 5% of participants in the study who didn’t have the condition, had a family history of PCOS.

The Apple Women’s Health study began in November 2019. Data for the preliminary findings were taken from over 37,000 participants up until December 2021.

Interestingly, the findings revealed that those with PCOS are at risk of developing heart-related issues. These include Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

The research remains ongoing, with participants able to join and contribute at any time.

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common hormonal condition that affects women of reproductive age. It can cause irregular periods, as well as excess production of the male androgen hormone. Collections of fluid can develop within the ovaries, and they may fail to regularly release any eggs.

It isn’t known what causes PCOS, but with early treatment and lifestyle changes such as losing weight, you can avoid developing long-term complications.

Diagnosing PCOS

It can be difficult to initially determine if you are suffering from PCOS as changes within the menstrual cycle are common. However, there are symptoms you can watch out for to determine if the condition could be causing your abnormal periods. They include:

  • Your period is abnormally heavy and impacts your daily routine
  • The last period you had lasted for more than 10 days
  • You experience your periods more than 38 days, or less than 24 days apart
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Your periods have stopped completely

These symptoms can be a sign of PCOS, but they could also point to other potential issues too. Therefore, if you do experience any of the above, it is important to seek a professional diagnosis.

At SureScan, our specialist gynaecology services can help to detect a range of menstrual disorders. Book a consultation with our friendly and professional team to identify the cause of your abnormal periods today.