Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

What is PCOS? Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment along with weight loss may reduce the risk of long-term complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

PCOS Symptoms: A diagnosis of PCOS is made when you experience at least 2 of these signs; irregular periods, excess androgen, polycystic ovaries. 

Irregular Periods: Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, you might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods and abnormally heavy periods. 

Excess Androgen: Elevated levels of male hormones may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair, and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.

Polycystic Ovaries: Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly. 

PCOS signs and symptoms are typically more severe if you're obese.

While the cause is unknown, there are certain factors that might play a role. Some of these may include: excess insulin, low-grade inflammation, heredity, and excess androgen. 

Complications of PCOS: Infertility, Gestational diabetes, miscarriage and premature birth, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, abnormal uterine bleeding, cancer of the uterine lining. 

To diagnose a doctor may recommend: a pelvic exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound. 

Treatment: treatment for PCOS may include birth control pills, progestin therapy, ovulation medications, weight loss treatment, increased exercise. 

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