It is estimated that between five to ten percent of women of childbearing age have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). While very common, PCOS remains undiagnosed and unmanaged in most people who have it. If you are experiencing irregular periods, excess hair growth or acne (or both) and infertility, it is time to share your symptoms with your physician at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women during their reproductive years. This disorder happens when your body produces more male hormones than normal.
You can get PCOS at any age following puberty, but most women find out they have PCOS in their 20s and 30s when they have difficulty getting pregnant. All women are prone to PCOS, but your risk may be higher if you’re obese or have a family history of PCOS.
PCOS symptoms vary from woman to woman, but they often include noticeable changes to your body or menstrual cycle. Common signs and symptoms of PCOS include:
Weight gain and difficulty losing weight are other common symptoms of PCOS. Up to 80% of women with PCOS are obese.
In women with PCOS, the hormonal imbalance interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). If you don’t ovulate, you can’t get pregnant. But having PCOS does not mean you can’t get pregnant. Your OB/GYN at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare can discuss ways to help you raise your chances of getting pregnant.
Untreated PCOS can be devastating and develop a chain reaction of more health problems including:
There isn’t a simple test for PCOS, and it’s often not picked up unless it’s causing noticeable symptoms. The team at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare begins by looking through your medical history and asking about your current symptoms. Your physician may perform one or more of the following tests:
There is no cure for PCOS. However, there are ways it can be treated.
Medications exist to control the hormones that are the culprit of PCOS. Your doctor will work with you to decide the best medication to treat your symptoms.
Other ways to treat symptoms of PCOS include: