Although PCOS has long been considered a women’s reproductive issue and infertility condition, it’s so much more than that. It’s a complex endocrine disorder that affects the entire body for life, in numerous ways.
A lot of people are under the assumption that it can be cured by a hysterectomy, or that it’ll disappear once menopause rolls around. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fatty tissue inflammation, insulin resistance, and androgen excess associated with PCOS are lifelong issues that need to be addressed.
Furthermore, PCOS is often associated with autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. All of these tend to manifest as a woman ages, so menopause won’t just make these issues disappear.
Women with PCOS have a higher amount of visceral fat and metabolic disturbances in later reproductive age. They also tend to have higher rates of hypertension and LDL cholesterol levels.
Although all women are ate greater risk for insulin resistance and more abdominal weight gain during perimenopause, those with PCOS have some essential differences.
What Are Those Differences?
First and foremost, women with PCOS have been dealing with insulin resistance for far longer than most other women. Why? Quite simply, they’ve been secreting more insulin than average for the better part of their lives.
In terms of perimenopause, there are changes in pancreatic function that differ from those in women without the condition.
In fact, it has been found that at perimenopause, pancreatic beta cells are less functional than they were previously in women with PCOS. The pancreas becomes sluggish after years of producing often-elevated insulin levels.
This means that after menopause, women with PCOS are far more sensitive to all kinds of sugars. This is because they can’t secrete insulin as effectively to keep it under control anymore. These women needs to be extra careful to prevent diabetes.
Another difference for perimenopausal women with PCOS is a higher number of unexpected pregnancies. These become more common due to preserved fertility. Studies have found that women with PCOS hit their fertile peak and go into menopause on average 2-4 years later than others.
To learn more about how menopause affects women with PCOS, read the full article at drfionand.com.