Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder affecting women of reproductive age. PCOS is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, which creates problems during ovulation. Women with PCOS also have metabolism problems which may affect their overall health and appearance.
PCOS Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment, along with weight management, may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
PCOS signs and symptoms often begin soon after a woman first begins having periods. In some cases, PCOS develops later during the reproductive years in response to substantial weight gain. To diagnose your condition, Dr. Douglas will look for at least two of the following signs:
- Irregular periods, such as menstrual intervals longer than 35 days; fewer than 8 menstrual cycles a year; failure to menstruate for 4 months or longer; and prolonged periods that may be scant or heavy.
- Elevated levels of androgen (male hormones), resulting in physical signs such as excess facial and body hair, adult acne, severe acne in adolescents, and male-pattern baldness.
- Polycystic ovaries, which are enlarged and contain numerous small fluid-filled sacs surrounding the eggs.
PCOS is a common and treatable cause of infertility
PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. PCOS can cause missed or irregular menstrual periods, which can lead to:
- Cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries
- Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods
- Excess hair growth