Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is defined by irregular and unusual menstrual periods. For reasons not fully understood, women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens (male hormones) than usual, which prevent monthly ovulation from occurring.
Symptoms of PCOS may include excessive facial hair growth, acne, male-pattern hair thinning, and irregular menstrual cycles. Additionally, women with PCOS are at greater risk for type 2 diabetes due to insulin overproduction and eventual resistance.
PCOS can range from a minor annoyance, to a more noticeable and uncomfortable condition. Even in a minor case, prompt professional treatment is necessary, as it significantly reduces the chance of long-term complications arising as a result of the condition.
With professional medical assistance, virtually all PCOS symptoms are treatable, and PCOS patients live normal, healthy lives. If you suspect you might have PCOS, it’s smart to find out what your options are.
Do you have PCOS?
At this time, there is no single test to determine whether an individual has PCOS or not. The most accurate method of diagnosis is to have an experienced gynaecologist check for symptoms.
Most common symptoms include:
- Irregular menstrual periods caused by anovulation (lack of ovulation) or irregular ovulation.
- Evidence of elevated androgen levels (male hormone), including excess hair growth, acne, or male-pattern balding. (Blood tests can also reveal excess androgen levels).
A pelvic ultrasound can also be used to detect polycystic ovaries.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Treatment
Believe it or not, the most common treatment for PCOS is birth control pills. Oral contraceptives protect the patient from uterine cancer by inducing monthly menstrual periods. Birth control pills are also effective for treating other symptoms of PCOS, such as acne.
If you have questions about getting on birth control, or want to explore other options for treating PCOS, we’re here to help.
Can Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Stop You from Having Babies?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome doesn’t always cause infertility. It’s common for women with PCOS to not ovulate regularly, which can make pregnancy difficult. But it’s not impossible.
If you’ve had no success trying to become pregnant for 6 to 12 months, we recommend an infertility evaluation. You can discuss these options with us during your first visit.