Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS, can disrupt a woman’s hormonal levels, menstrual cycles, fertility, and other hormonal changes. Though the exact cause of PCOS is not known, doctors do know women with PCOS have higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones.
Higher testosterone levels cause a hormonal imbalance, causing the body to skip menstrual periods and cause infertility issues.
Women may also experience excessive hair growth, baldness, and long-term health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Dr. Lillian Schapiro and Dr. Kristan Adams at Ideal Gynecology can evaluate your symptoms if you suspect you have PCOS. For continued care, we can help treat and manage your symptoms.
PCOS is known as a “syndrome” involving a group of symptoms impacting the ovaries and ovulation.
The three main symptoms include:
- Ovarian cysts (fluid-filled sacs in the uterus)
- High levels of male hormones
- Irregular periods
What causes PCOS?
There is no one known cause of PCOS. In fact, many women experience a wide array of symptoms, making it more challenging to understand one direct cause.
Some women may experience some or all of the symptoms of PCOS. For some women, symptoms are more severe than others. These include:
Irregular periods and heavy bleeding
When a woman doesn’t ovulate, the uterine lining doesn’t shed each month. Some women may get between one and eight periods a month, or they may have none at all. Heavy bleeding occurs when the uterine lining builds up for a long period of time. Sometimes, periods are heavier than normal.
Problems with ovulation, obesity, and insulin resistance can lead to endometrial cancer. When PCOS is also a part of your diagnosis, you increase your chances of developing cancer in the endometrium (uterine lining).
Hair growth and acne
Hair growth is a common symptom of PCOS. About 70% of women experience excessive hair growth on the stomach, chest, or face. Because hormone levels are higher than normal, acne generally develops. Skin is oilier and may cause breakouts on the face, chest, and back.
Impact on fertility
Women trying to get pregnant who are diagnosed with PCOS often have trouble conceiving. One of the most common symptoms of PCOS is irregular or missed periods. If you do not get your period, sperm cannot fertilize an egg. This makes it challenging to conceive.
There are medications such as Clomid that can be taken at the beginning of your cycle. It is an anti-estrogen drug.
If you’re struggling with PCOS or suspect you may have PCOS, contact the specialists at Ideal Gynecology. Book online, or call for your first appointment today.