Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) arises from hormonal imbalances, primarily male sex hormones (androgens).
Women usually produce a small amount of androgens, such as testosterone, but when you have PCOS, your androgen levels are abnormally high. As a result, your eggs may not develop normally or release every month.
What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome?
PCOS can occur any time after you reach puberty. It causes three primary symptoms:
- Abnormal menstruation: periods may be longer or heavier than normal, irregular, or absent
- Ovarian cysts: multiple fluid-filled cysts develop in your ovaries
- Hirsutism: excessive hair growth appears on your face and body
Many women develop acne or start to lose their hair. Other common symptoms of PCOS are skin tags on your armpits or neck and darkened skin on your neck or under your breasts.
How is polycystic ovary syndrome treated?
Since there’s no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome, treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms. Dr. Starke provides weight loss counseling if you need to lose weight and nutrition therapy to make up for nutrient deficiencies that are found during testing.
The doctor may prescribe one of the many possible medications available to help:
- Decrease androgen production
- Regulate estrogen
- Promote ovulation and regulate menstrual periods
- Reduce excessive hair growth
- Lower blood sugar
- Treat high blood pressure
If you have signs of polycystic ovary syndrome, schedule a thorough examination by calling Dr. Starke or using online booking.
Which health conditions are associated with polycystic ovary syndrome?
The hormone imbalances of polycystic ovary syndrome increase your risk for several other health problems:
Since your ovaries stop producing or releasing eggs, polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the leading causes of infertility.
More than half of all women who have polycystic ovary syndrome experience weight gain. This could be due to high levels of androgens or because many women with PCOS develop insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes
About 40% of women with PCOS develop insulin resistance, even if they don’t gain weight. Insulin resistance increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of chronic problems, including excess fat around your waist, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol.
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