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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in women that can affect fertility, menstrual cycles and androgen levels in the body.

Causes Of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, contributing factors that heighten the risk include:

  • A family history of PCOS

  • Excess insulin which can lead to difficulty in ovulation and excess androgen production

  • Hormonal imbalance- the body produces too much androgen (male hormone)

  • Inflammation or high white blood cell count

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Some of the most common signs that point to PCOS are:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles: Women with PCOS may have heavier than normal periods and/or experience longer periods between cycles (more than 35 days/cycle)

  • Hormonal imbalance of androgen (male hormone) can lead to: Excess facial and body hair Female pattern baldness Acne

  • Enlarged ovaries (polycystic ovaries)

Like most gynecological conditions, diagnosis involves a pelvic exam, ultrasound and blood testing. These methods can measure your hormone levels and check the appearance of the ovaries and endometrium to determine a diagnosis.

When To See A Doctor About PCOS

Symptoms of PCOS are often mistaken for another medical problem, which can make it difficult to know when to see your doctor. But early diagnosis and treatment of PCOS may help prevent serious related health complications such as pre- and type 2 diabetes and heart disease as well as reproductive and metabolic problems.

Taking a wait-and-see approach, often called watchful waiting, is not appropriate when PCOS is suspected. Treating PCOS is essential because it can lead to or contribute to comorbid disorders including:

  • Endometrial cancer

  • Sleep Apnea

  • Infertility

  • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Miscarriage or premature birth

  • Liver disorders

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