Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.


September 22, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm

PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)


What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgens, male sex hormones that are usually present in women in small amounts.

The name polycystic ovary syndrome describes the numerous small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) that form in the ovaries.

Ovulation occurs when a mature egg is released from an ovary. This happens so it can be fertilized by a male sperm. If the egg is not fertilized, it is sent out of the body during your period.

In some cases, a woman doesn’t make enough of the hormones needed to ovulate. When ovulation doesn’t happen, the ovaries can develop many small cysts.

These cysts make hormones called androgens. Women with PCOS often have high levels of androgens. This can cause more problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle. And it can cause many of the symptoms of PCOS.

How is Academic Pressure contributing to PCOS?

Academic pressure may unknowingly contribute to a silent health crisis among young girls. It starts in classrooms but often leads to gynaecologists’ offices, where ultrasound scans reveal ovarian cysts, resulting in a diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Recommendations include lifestyle changes—like a high-protein diet, daily exercise, and stress reduction.

Is our competitive education shaping a generation prone to PCOS?

Increasingly common

One in five women in India grapples with PCOS, with 60% of those seeking infertility treatments doing so due to PCOS-related problems.

PCOS lacks a single known cause.

  1. Genetic Pre-disposition: It affects individuals with a genetic predisposition, often marked by a family history of diabetes or obesity, exposed to environments that encourage neither a healthy diet nor regular exercise and are stress laden.
  2. Absence of Conducive Environment: Research confirms that adolescents raised in environments conducive to healthy choices have a lower risk of developing PCOS. Unfortunately, such environments are scarce, especially for students in the Indian context.
  3. Physical Education: Physical education classes, where they exist, are typically once a week for a mere 30-45 minutes, a trend that has worsened, as revealed by the 2022 India Report Card team. This falls far short of the WHO’s recommendations for adolescent physical exercise, suggesting at least 60 minutes of aerobic activity and strength training three times a week.

Experts in neuroscience, however, emphasise that fostering physical activity must start in childhood; those neglecting exercise in youth find it hard to initiate later when health issues arise.

The highly competitive education system not only makes normal expectations for physical activity unattainable but also subjects adolescents to extreme stress.

Studies establish a clear link between stress and PCOS and in Indian adolescents, the most common cause of stress is academic.

Unrealistic expectations

Indian parents often lack tools to teach healthy resilience, becoming pressure points by imposing unrealistic academic performance expectations.

Stress-induced hormonal changes alter body composition, predisposing young women to PCOS.

PCOS is now the most prevalent endocrine disorder among young Indian women, impacting their lives from diabetes, obesity, and heart disease to mental health challenges like depression and anxiety.

It also leaves them grappling with fertility issues and cosmetic concerns, including increased body hair, facial hair, and scalp hair loss.

Way Forward

While education and ambition empower women, we must not neglect health. The growing prevalence of PCOS urges us to consider how our societal narratives affect our children’s future health and well-being.

Encouraging exercise is vital, as is ensuring children have time for it. A robust and universal physical education syllabus which focuses on accessibility is paramount.

Parents disentangling themselves from the prestige or status narrative of academic success and understanding that various routes to success exist that do not involve academic excellence is a crucial way to relieve some pressure on the students.

Including mental health and stress management skills in the curriculum is not only a necessity but also a responsibility.

Mains Questions

  1. Discuss how the academic performance stress is contributing to PCOS among the adolescent girls in India? (150 Words) 10 Marks


September 22, 2023
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: