Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that increases the levels of the male hormone androgen in a woman’s body. PCOS typically begins at puberty and is associated with irregular periods and other hormone related symptoms.
There are several issues that are related with having PCOS including:
• Increased risk of infertility
• Risk of developing type 2 diabetes
• Risk of developing cardiovascular disease
• Higher risk of developing uterine cancer at an early age.
Currently, there is known no cause for developing PCOS. However, there is evidence linking certain forms of PCOS and family history. If PCOS is suspected through an evaluation of a woman’s medical history and symptoms, a blood test will be administered to measure the hormone levels. In some cases, a doctor may also administer varying levels of medications to determine how hormonal levels react to certain medications. The outcome of this test will help make a more definitive diagnosis.
Symptoms of PCOS include the following:
• Irregular menstrual periods, or no menstrual periods at all
• Decreased frequency or complete lack of ovulation, resulting in problems with infertility
• Obesity, often specifically characterized by weight gain in the upper body and abdomen
• Oily skin and hair and persistent acne into adulthood
• Abnormal hair growth, in a masculine distribution (facial hair, heavy hair growth on arms, chest and abdomen)
• Tendency to develop type 2 diabetes
Although PCOS can be treated with medications, treatment is administered on a very individualized level. Speak with Dr. Simhaee to determine the correct course of treatment for you.