Quick Facts: What You Need to Know About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Medically reviewed.Doctor Robyn Faye

September polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) awareness month.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) It is one of the most common hormonal disorders in women. Again, 75% of people with PCOS remain undiagnosed. we reached Doctor Robyn FayeAn OB-GYN with Abington-Jefferson Women’s Health Care Group and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Councilto find out what you need to know about this condition.

What is PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)?

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects the ovaries. It can be too much in people with PCOS male hormone (androgen) levels or other abnormal laboratory results, infrequent periods, and/or enlarged ovaries with small fluid-filled sacs known as follicles or cysts on their outer rim.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

PCOS symptoms are different for everyone. However, some common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • irregular periods
  • severe acne
  • Excessive facial or body hair (fancy word for it: hirsutism)
  • Gaining weight
  • Insulin resistance (when your body does not respond to insulin, which usually causes high blood sugar levels and can possibly lead to diabetes)
  • Abnormally high levels of insulin in your blood ( hyperinsulinemiaif you want to get technical information)

How is PCOS diagnosed?

PCOS can be diagnosed by healthcare providers (HCPs) based on symptoms. pelvic exam or transvaginal ultrasound to look for abnormalities or through blood tests.

  • PCOS can be diagnosed when a person has at least two of the three symptoms:
    • Abnormal blood test results
    • irregular periods
    • “Pearl ring” (ovaries with cysts and increased volume)
  • Hints from blood work that an HCP can use to determine if a person has PCOS might include:
    • High androgen levels
    • Signs of metabolic problems such as excess insulin in the blood and high fasting cholesterol, triglyceride or blood sugar levels

What causes PCOS?

We don’t yet know exactly what causes PCOS, but experts think PCOS is likely influenced by genetics and the environment.

How do you treat PCOS?

There is no cure for PCOS, but there are many treatments that can help control PCOS symptoms and prevent them from getting worse. The treatment that is right for you depends on your specific needs. For example:

  • Lifestyle changes aimed at weight loss, including a low-calorie diet and exercise program, are common recommendations for all PCOS patients. This is because weight loss can help heal PCOS and prevent its possible effects on your metabolism.
  • Birth control pills can help lower androgen levels and regulate a person’s menstrual cycle.
  • metforminPartner type 2 diabetes The drug can help improve insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels.
  • By minimizing the effect of excess androgens on the skin, spironolactone can help with severe acne caused by PCOS.

Does PCOS cause other medical conditions?

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