What is the link between PCOS and Obesity?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be at least partly responsible for approximately 10 to 20 percent of weight problems among younger women. PCOS is diagnosed by irregular periods and changes in physical appearance like excessive weight gain, abdominal obesity, acne, thinning hair and hirsuteness.


What is the link between PCOS and Obesity?

Hormonal Imbalance and Weight Gain

  • Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have a severe imbalance of the female sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone. They also face imbalance with another hormone called Androgen. Androgen is predominantly a male hormone but is also found in women in lesser amounts.
  • Hormones regulate the development and release of eggs from the ovaries every month. There are little follicles in the ovaries which are responsible for producing the eggs and releasing them every month during the menstrual cycle.  In PCOS, the follicles fail to mature and release an egg. Instead they form little fluid-filled sacs called cysts on the ovaries.
  • The follicles in PCOS secrete more of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen is normally balanced by another female hormone called Progesterone. In normally functioning ovaries, progesterone is released from the egg sac after the follicle releases the egg.
  • Excess estrogen in the blood gets converted into the male hormone androgen. This causes the onset of a voracious appetite and other changes in the body. The pounds just add on thereafter.

Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain

  • Insulin resistance, another cause of obesity, is often found to co-exist with polycystic ovarian disease.
  • Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. When you eat, the carbohydrates in the meal are converted into glucose – or sugar. Insulin converts these sugars into energy and stores it in your cells. In insulin resistance, the process of blood glucose being converted into energy is inhibited.
  • Although there may be plenty of insulin available to bind with the glucose in your blood, the process is inhibited, which instigates even more insulin production. Higher levels of insulin increase appetite and eventually can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS); MayoClinic.com;

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; MedlinePlus; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000369.htm

1 response to What is the link between PCOS and Obesity?

  1. hello mam,
    my self ritika ahuja actually i have problem of PCOD about 2 years age and today i m married my family needs a child from me help me what to do

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *