skip to Main Content

Ben Bikman: PCOS 3: Unovulated follicles, prevented from dissolving, can become dangerous cysts

With Dr Steve Cole. Youtube podcast June 29, 2021
The Metabolic Classroom

Normally a patient develops one dominant follicle…
which ovulates and becomes the corpus luteum, that
continues the pregnancy until sees an HCG level
(a pregnancy hormone)
and the process continues

Corpus luteum:
-yellow hormone-secreting body in female reproductive system
-formed in an ovary at follicle that has ovulated
-produces estrogens & progesterone

HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone:
-produced by cells surrounding a growing embryo
-this eventually forms the placenta
-can be detected as early as 1 week after fertilization

Normally a patient develops one dominant follicle…
the other follicles should:
-go through apoptosis (programmed cell death)
-body dissolves them

-corpus luteum (egg sac remnant) also dissolves

When someone has PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)…
-don’t have regular menstruation, it is because:
-they don’t ovulate regularly
-it is the cause of oligomenorrhea (infrequent menstruation)
-not releasing the egg & setting off cascade of hormones:
-in order to:
-lead to pregnancy or toward having a period

When someone has PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)…
Can become dangerous if there is a build up of:
-uterine lining getting ready for pregnancy
-then, when no pregnancy:
-no signal to lining to be shed, over time:
-cells can become pre-cancerous or cancerous

When someone has PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome)…
Doctors are always cognizant of this danger.

It is because they don’t ovulate & have cascade of hormones
(often caused by insulin resistance)

When one follicle ovulates, all the others normally are
destroyed through apoptosis, but

in the absence of ovulation, these just “stick around”
-become the cysts in PCOS

and the unovulated, dominant follicles stay as well

Normally an ovary is smaller than a typical egg…
but, a cystic ovary can be the size of a kidney
-due to the cystic follicles taking up so much space
-people can feel this larger ovary
-can be painful when cyst ruptures