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15% of All Pregnancies Are Diabetic; Rise in Teenage PCOS Responsible

  • Women with PCOS are insulin-resistant –their bodies can make insulin but cannot use it effectively, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • More than half of women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by age 40 and are more likely to develop gestational diabetes which puts the pregnancy and baby at risk and can lead to type 2 diabetes later in life for both mother and child.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome begins soon after the first menstrual period, as young as age 11 or 12 but can also develop in the 20s or 30s.
  • PCOS can also cause other serious health problems in women such as high blood pressure, heart disease, increase in bad (LDL) cholesterol, and sleep apnea, among other things.

Ghaziabad: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the leading lifestyle diseases in today’s women, right from teenagers, and has been held responsible for infertility in women. However, doctors at Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad warn that PCOS is one of the leading causes of diabetes during pregnancy that can affect the health of both mother and the child.


“Women who have PCOS were either overweight or obese by the time they reached their puberty. This makes them substantially insulin-resistant; their bodies can make insulin but can’t use it effectively, increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes. More than half of women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by age 40 and are more likely to develop gestational diabetes which puts the pregnancy and baby at risk and can lead to type 2 diabetes later in life for both mother and child. Since the number of PCOS cases in teenage has increased over the past 10 years, there is an increase in pregnancies where the mother is diabetic – out of the pregnancies we deliver here, about 15 per cent are diabetic and have a history of PCOS in their teens,” says Dr. Ranjana Becon, Consultant Gynecologist and Obstetrics, Columbia Asia Hospital, Ghaziabad.


Polycystic ovarian syndrome begins soon after the first menstrual period, as young as age 11 or 12 but can also develop in the 20s or 30s. The major symptoms include irregular or no periods, caused from lack of ovulation, higher than normal levels of male hormones that may result in excess hair on the face and body, acne, or thinning scalp hair, and multiple small cysts on the ovaries – having any two out of these defines the condition as PCOS.


“The gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the most commonly described pregnancy complication in women with PCOS. It can also cause other serious health problems in women such as high blood pressure, heart disease, increase in bad (LDL) cholesterol, and sleep apnea, among other things. Lifestyle has been identified as the single-most effective causing factor for PCOS in women across ages, but teenagers today are more vulnerable as they lead a life almost without any activity and eating a lot of refined fat and carbohydrates. As a result, they gain weight quickly and substantially which further affects their health. Women whose mother or sister have PCOS or type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop PCOS. Insulin resistance also runs in families and losing weight will help no matter the reason behind the insulin resistance,” says Dr. Becon.

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