PCOS Q & A
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a gynecological condition in which the ovaries produce too many androgens, which are male sex hormones.
Overproduction of androgens affects hormone balance and the function of your ovaries. Your ovaries hold, develop, and release eggs every month for ovulation. PCOS may affect egg development or prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg.
The ovulation changes that occur with PCOS may cause an irregular period or the development of ovarian cysts.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
An irregular menstrual cycle is one of the most common symptoms of PCOS. Women with PCOS may have fewer than eight periods a year.
The hormonal changes that occur with PCOS also affect your look, causing hair growth on the face, chest, or back, as well as hair thinning on the scalp. You may also struggle with acne and notice dark patches of skin in the creases of your neck or under your breasts.
Many women with PCOS also experience weight gain or have a hard time losing weight. Infertility is also a common symptom of PCOS.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
The Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology team performs a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose PCOS. During your visit, they review your symptoms, medical and gynecological history, and family history.
They perform a physical and pelvic exam and may run an ultrasound test to look for ovarian cysts. They may also run blood work to check hormone levels.
They diagnose PCOS after testing rules out other conditions, and you have two or more of the symptoms of PCOS.
How is PCOS treated?
The team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology creates a personalized treatment plan for PCOS based on the severity of symptoms, overall health, and current and future pregnancy plans.
PCOS treatment may include:
- Healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Weight loss
- Anti-androgen medication
- Birth control to regulate menstrual cycles
- Metformin to lower insulin and androgen levels
For women struggling with infertility, the team may prescribe medication that stimulates ovulation and encourage them to continue to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
PCOS affects how you look and feel. Let the team at Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology help you take control of your health; call the office or request an appointment online today.