PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS common hormonal abnormality women. 

PCOS - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS common hormonal abnormality women. 

Signs and Symptoms of PCOS

Signs and symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods—Menstrual disorders can include absent periods, periods that occur infrequently or too frequently, heavy periods, or unpredictable periods. 
  • Infertility—PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
  • Obesity—Up to 80% of women with PCOS are obese. 
  • Excess hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, or upper thighs—This condition, called hirsutism, affects more than 70% of women with PCOS. 
  • Severe acne or oily skin
  • Patches of thickened, velvety, darkened skin called acanthosis nigricans 
  • Multiple small fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries

Although the cause of PCOS is not known, it appears that PCOS may be related to many different factors working together. These factors include insulin resistance, increased levels of hormones called androgens, and an irregular menstrual cycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

PCOS affects all areas of the body, not just the reproductive system. It increases a woman’s risk of serious conditions that may have lifelong consequences.

Insulin resistance increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Another condition that is associated with PCOS is metabolic syndrome. This syndrome contributes to both diabetes and heart disease.

Women with PCOS also tend to have a condition called endometrial hyperplasia, in which the lining of the uterus becomes too thick. This condition increases the risk of endometrial cancer.

A variety of treatments are available to address the problems of PCOS. Treatment is tailored to each woman according to symptoms, other health problems, and whether she wants to become pregnant.

Combined hormonal birth control pills can be used for long-term treatment in women with PCOS who do not wish to become pregnant. Combined hormonal pills contain both estrogen and progestin. These birth control pills regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce hirsutism and acne by decreasing androgen levels. They also decrease the risk of endometrial cancer. 

For overweight women, weight loss alone often regulates the menstrual cycle. Even a loss of 10–15 pounds can be helpful in making menstrual periods more regular. Weight loss also has been found to improve cholesterol and insulin levels and relieve symptoms such as excess hair growth and acne.

Insulin-sensitizing drugs used to treat diabetes frequently are used in the treatment of PCOS. These drugs help the body respond to insulin. In women with PCOS, they can help decrease androgen levels and improve ovulation. Restoring ovulation helps make menstrual periods regular and more predictable.

Successful ovulation is the first step toward pregnancy. For overweight women, weight loss often accomplishes this goal. Medications like clomiphene citrate and letrozole may be used to cause ovulation. We have helped many women with PCOS achieve pregnancy.

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