An Insight on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Use of Herbal Medicines as Alternative Treatment

An Insight on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Use of Herbal Medicines as Alternative Treatment

Sowmya Kiran Rao
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 39
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4808-0.ch006
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One of the most common endocrine disorder in females during reproductive age which leads to infertility, metabolic derangements, and also psychological impairments is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This syndrome has been known to increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, lipid disorders, and also autoimmune thyroiditis. Impending complication list includes malignancies like breast and endometrial cancer. The actual cause of this syndrome is unknown, and perhaps, it could be due to a combination of various unmodifiable genetic factors and modifiable environmental factors. Several research studies have been carried out on management of PCOS, and many medicinal plants have been used as an alternative therapy for oligo/amenorrhoea, hyperandrogenism, and PCOS in women. The chapter gives an insight on PCOS, its management, and elucidates the effects of medicinal plants on PCOS.
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PCOS, also known as ‘Stein-Leventhal Syndrome’, is a persistent global health problem known to have an impact on multiple organ systems that exerts reproductive and metabolic manifestations (Nirav, 2017; Tracy et al., 2016). This complex (Tracy et al., 2016; March et al., 2010; El-Sharkawy et al., 2014; Richard, 2013; Robert & David, 2016) trait results from the interaction of genetic and also environmental factors that manifests usually at puberty (Robert & David, 2016). The clinical characteristics and features of this syndrome first described in 1935 by Irving Stein and Michael Leventhal, develops when the ovaries are stimulated to produce excess androgens, particularly testosterone (Stein & Leventhal, 1935, Strauss, 2003). The resultant increase in male hormone leads to polycystic ovaries (Strauss, 2003).

Diagnostic criteria for PCOS have been set by National Institutes of Health (NIH) 1990, Rotterdam 2003, AE-PCOS Society 2006, NIH 2012/International PCOS Guidelines 2018. To determine the presence or absence of PCOS, each of these suggests criteria that have slightly different biological, clinical and image-based findings (Okoroh, 2012). An international evidence-based guideline for the assessment and management of PCOS released in 2018 recommends the use of the Rotterdam diagnostic criteria (Teede et al., 2018). Rotterdam criteria is accepted criteria in Asia, Australia and Europe (Stepto et al., 2013; Yildiz et al., 2012.). This criteria described presence of polycystic ovaries and hyperandrogenism in females with normal menstrual cycles, and also women with polycystic ovaries and ovulatory disturbance without hyperandrogenism (Broekmans et al., 2006). The diagnosis necessitates the presence of at least two of the three findings on ultrasound i.e., hyperandrogenism, ovulatory dysfunction, and polycystic ovarian morphology (Tracy, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Alternative Medicine: Any healing or treatment regimen of diseases generally not included in the traditional medical curricula of the U.S. and Britain.

Diet: Food and drink regularly included for consumption as part of a meal pattern.

Ovarian Cysts: Sacs of fluid or slimy fluid called mucus within the ovaries.

Herbal Medicine: Plants and their parts used as medicine due to their beneficially effects in maintaining health as well as to prevent or cure diseases.

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