PCOS Q & A
What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that leads to the formation of multiple small cysts on your ovaries. The irregularity in your hormones and the presence of cysts interfere with the function of your ovaries – the organs that develop and release eggs each month as part of your fertility cycle. You may experience irregular periods and infertility as a result.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
The symptoms of PCOS are mainly caused by an excess of androgens, which are male hormones that women usually only have in small amounts.
Women with PCOS often have an excess of insulin, too. Insulin is a hormone that helps your cells use glucose (sugar) for energy. This puts women with PCOS at greater risk of high blood sugar as well as metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and Type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosis of PCOS is made with a comprehensive review of your symptoms as well as a pelvic exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound of your ovaries.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Weight gain or problems losing weight
- Facial hair
- Hair loss that mimics male-pattern baldness
- Darkening skin in folds and creases, such as underneath the breasts or around the neck
- Skin tags
Women with PCOS often have trouble getting pregnant. They’re also at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Monitoring your condition and treating you with hormones, such as birth control pills, can help you manage the effects of PCOS.
Can I get pregnant if I have PCOS?
Infertility caused by PCOS can usually be overcome with treatment from the specialists at OB/GYN Associates of Miami. Your first steps toward a healthy pregnancy include losing weight, if you’re carrying extra pounds, and increased physical activity to help regulate your cycle.
The doctors may also recommend medications, such as clomiphene, to help with ovulation. If clomiphene isn’t successful after a few months, in vitro fertilization is another option.
With expert management of PCOS, you can minimize symptoms and live a normal life. If you suspect you have PCOS, call OB/GYN Associates of Miami or book an appointment online.