Introduction: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder found in individuals with female reproductive organs. It is known to cause excess production of androgens, which leads to a wide variety of issues, ranging from complications with bodily function and changes in physical appearance. This review will specifically focus on the relationship between PCOS and its effects on cardiovascular health to understand the long-term implications of the disorder. The variety of treatments used for PCOS and how they affect cardiovascular health will also be explored.
Methods: Research over a span of 30 years was compiled to examine the effects of PCOS on women’s cardiovascular health outcomes.
Results: The findings support that there is indeed an adverse relationship between PCOS and cardiovascular health; however, treatments are available to combat these effects. PCOS has a negative influence on the health of the cardiovascular system; it increases the risk of hypertension and blood vessel/artery damage, metabolic disturbances such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance, and has negative implications (undesirable effects) on hormones, such as insulin and androgen levels. There are multiple interventions ranging from oral contraception (OCP), lifestyle changes, and herbal medications that can reverse the effects of PCOS on the cardiovascular system. Due to the nature of PCOS, however, the results of the studies examined in this review are not an exact prospect for every affected individual and will require extensive research. Furthermore, more research is required to continue to understand other biological factors in this relationship, as well as looking into social determinants that may enhance or alter these results.
Conclusion: Ultimately, this review intends to promote further studies of the long-term effects of this hormonal disorder. Further research will not only improve the current treatment processes but may also benefit the conversation around this topic so that those who do struggle with PCOS can be more cognizant of its potential health outcomes.
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