Woman. A tribe, a culture and a sisterhood; bound by the beauty of its diversity. Fearless, bold and unapologetic; that’s who we are and that’s who we’ve always been. 

We commemorate the health and wellbeing of each woman this month focusing our attention primarily on polycystic ovarian syndrome and ovarian cancer, two conditions that greatly affect the lifestyles of a significant proportion of women in the society. 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. Cysts are abnormal fluid-filled sacs found within the body, so picture the ovaries filled with multiple small sacs on it. It somewhat looks like a custard apple; yes, please make google your friend and stop wondering when we started putting custard in apples! This condition is characterized by persistent absence of ovulation, which is the release of an egg from the ovary that occurs during every menstrual cycle. Clinically, PCOS manifests as enlarged polycystic ovaries, absence of menses for a prolonged period of time despite having had menses previously, or the lack of menstruation for intervals of more than 35 days, infertility and increased levels of male hormones which is shown by excess facial and body hair, occasional severe acne and male pattern baldness. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, however factors such as genetics, excess insulin, obesity and excess male hormone (androgen) have shown to be contributing factors. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If you experience two or more of the earlier mentioned clinical manifestations, please seek medical advice. 

Ovarian cancer is a common cancer affecting women. However, it ranks lower than the incidence of cervical and uterine cancers. The predisposing factors of ovarian cancer include a positive family history of two or more first degree relatives, ovulatory stimulating drugs, abnormal ovarian development, postmenopausal women, genetic mutations and the failure of giving birth to a surviving child. ‘Failure to give birth to a surviving child’ you ask? Yeah, cancer really is an uncultured beast. Most patients with ovarian tumors present late. By the time of diagnosis, the tumor has spread elsewhere since it is mostly asymptomatic. The typical clinical manifestations include abdominal enlargement, menstrual symptoms, lower abdominal pain, gastrointestinal complaints, painful urination, frequency in urination, pelvic pressure and fluid filled in the abdominal space among other symptoms. Non-cancerous tumors can be resected and remission can be achieved. However, in cancerous forms there is progressive weakness, severe body wasting and weight loss. It is important to seek medical advice if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms. An annual pelvic exam and ultrasound for women in their reproductive age and advanced age would be useful to catch any sign of cancer early and essentially improve the chances of survival.  

We at Ponea Health, in the active championing for the health and wellbeing of women, have been able to create a one stop shop that offers health packages tailored to fit the needs of each woman regardless of their age. We offer a cancer screening package that is used to screen for the various cancers that affect women including ovarian cancer, together with a specialist consultation that can be done at the comfort of your home, office, hotel or at a partner facility where bookings are done on your behalf with the benefit of priority admission.  

Browse through our website at www.ponea.com to select the service that is best suited for you or contact as directly on +254 111 013 900 

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