Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Treatment

In addition to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone, the ovaries produce small amounts of male hormones. In some instances, the ovaries produce larger quantities of these chemicals, leading to a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome.

This condition affects one out of 15 women generally in their 20s or 30s, although in some cases the symptoms may begin in the teen years or as soon as a girl begins menstruating.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can lead to a number of symptoms that include:

Medical professionals are still uncertain as to what the causes of PCOS are, but the condition is most likely genetic, passed down from mother to daughter.

What to Look For

The most common sign of PCOS in very young women is an infrequent menstrual period, or no period whatsoever. This can begin at the onset of puberty if a girl experiences one or two regular cycles, and then her periods go away entirely. The periods may return, but they will fluctuate between very light to extremely heavy. They may also last longer than 35 days or disappear completely for four or more months.

Adult women suffering from PCOS may discover their condition when they find that they are unable to get pregnant. This is usually coupled with excessive weight gain. The reason for fertility problems is due to the fact that increased levels of male hormones make it difficult for the ovaries to release eggs.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When diagnosing PCOS, doctors look for two of the three main symptoms:

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

Your doctor will likely perform a visual pelvic exam, a blood to check your hormone levels, and a vaginal ultrasound to seek out cysts on the ovaries.

Before your visit, it is recommended to keep a log of your symptoms, as well as a list of any medications or supplements you may be taking.

PCOS treatment plans usually include a balance of healthy eating and exercise along with hormone therapy and specific care for individual symptoms.

Other Factors

If you are showing any symptoms of PCOS, do not hesitate to contact a health care professional. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. An increase of male hormones in a woman's body will also hinder the use of insulin which raises blood sugar levels, putting you at a higher risk for developing diabetes.

Author
Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG As an expert in preventive care, innovative treatment solutions, and laparoscopic surgery, board-certified OB/GYN Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, is a trusted practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1985. Dr. Zikria earned his doctor of medicine from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He went on to complete a competitive surgical residency program at Georgetown University in Washington. Dr. Zikria then went through a comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology residency program through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Magee-Women’s Hospital. He welcomes new and existing patients to his practice in Milpitas, California.

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