Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common hormonal disorder that affects many women of reproductive age. This syndrome is caused by an imbalance of hormones, including androgens like testosterone. The high levels of testosterone have an impact on multiple organs and cause symptoms including irregular or absent menses, infertility, excessive hair growth, and insulin resistance leading to diabetes and difficulty losing weight. If PCOS is not treated throughout a woman’s lifetime, it may increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
When diagnosing PCOS, it is important to perform a thorough evaluation and exclude other similar conditions. The diagnosis is usually made using a combination of clinical symptoms, hormone levels, and ultrasound findings. In a patient with PCOS, a pelvic ultrasound will often show “polycystic” ovaries, or many small cysts on the ovaries.
While there is no cure for PCOS, there are treatment options to manage symptoms and improve overall health. Maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise are important for managing hormone levels. Birth control pills can be used to control irregular periods and decrease excessive hair growth. When a patient is considering getting pregnant, medication may be needed to induce ovulation.
PCOS is a condition that requires close monitoring and a personalized treatment plan to address each women’s unique symptoms and goals. If you are struggling with the symptoms of PCOS, schedule a consultation today to help restore your hormonal balance and achieve your optimal health.
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