What Is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in women that can affect fertility, menstrual cycles and androgen levels in the body.
What Are the Causes of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, contributing factors that heighten the risk include:
- A family history PCOS
- Excess insulin which can lead to difficulty in ovulation and excess androgen production
- Hormonal imbalance- the body produces too much androgen (male hormone)
- Inflammation or high white blood cell count
What Are the Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
Some of the most common signs that point to PCOS are:
- Irregular menstrual cycles:
- Women with PCOS may have heavier than normal periods and or experience longer periods between cycles (more than 35 days/cycle)
- Hormonal imbalance of androgen (male hormone) can lead to:
- Excess facial and body hair
- Female pattern baldness
- Enlarged ovaries (polycystic ovaries)
Like most gynecological conditions, diagnosis involves a pelvic exam, ultrasound and blood testing. These methods can measure your hormone levels and check the appearance of the ovaries and endometrium to determine a diagnosis.
Treating PCOS may include lifestyle changes to manage symptoms. This could include dietary and exercise changes. Additionally, your doctor may recommend progestin therapy and, if needed, other drugs to address comorbid issues like type 2 diabetes or infertility.
Treating PCOS is essential because it can lead to or contribute to comorbid disorders including:
- Endometrial cancer
- Sleep Apnea
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Miscarriage or premature birth
- Liver disorders
If you’re currently experiencing any symptoms or comorbidities related to PCOS, talk to your doctor. If you believe you’re having a health emergency, please dial 911. If you’d like to see a doctor at Advanced Gynecology who can properly diagnose and treat you, contact one of our patient coordinators today to schedule a visit.