Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – All You Need to Know

August 17, 2021
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women and can cause chronic health problems like heart disease or type 2 diabetes. However, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce your risk of developing those complications.

 What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Mostly, PCOS affects women during their childbearing age (15 to 44). Women with PCOS have excess androgen levels. This hormonal imbalance can cause prolonged or infrequent menstrual periods. PCOS also affects the ovaries by preventing follicles, which contain egg cells, from developing to maturity to release egg cells, thus causing infertility.

What Causes PCOS?

The exact cause of the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is unknown. However, these factors might increase your risk for the condition:

  • Heredity Insulin Resistance
  • Inflammation

Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Symptoms of polycystic ovarian disease either develop around the first menstrual period during puberty or later following weight gain, including:

  • Excess androgen levels
  • Irregular periods
  • Polycystic ovaries (enlarged ovaries containing follicles)
  • Headaches
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Dark patches in the groin, neck, and under the breasts

 What Are the 4 Types of PCOS?

  1. Pill-Induced PCOS

Birth control pills that suppress ovulation may contribute to this type. However, you typically resume ovulating once the effects of the pill subside. It is suggested to consult your doctor if you have any concerns related to this.

  1. Insulin-resistant PCOS

This is caused by excess sugar consumption, trans fats, pollution, and smoking. Insulin resistance demands the body to produce more insulin, and the extra insulin triggers the ovaries to produce more testosterone.

  1. Inflammatory PCOS

Obesity, stress, and inflammatory diets like gluten and environmental toxins can cause inflammation and PCOS. It can prevent ovulation and cause hormonal imbalance, which results in excess androgen levels.

  1. Hidden PCOS

Iodine, artificial sweeteners, thyroid disease, and a vegetarian diet (that causes zinc deficiency) can cause hidden PCOS.

Complications Associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

  • Infertility
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

Pregnancy and PCOS

70% to 80% of women with PCOS have fertility issues. This condition also increases their risk for pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage, high blood pressure, etc. However, women with PCOS can use fertility treatments to get pregnant. Losing weight and controlling your blood sugar levels can improve the chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

How Is PCOS Diagnosed?

Your doctor can perform the following test to diagnose PCOS:

  •      A Pelvic Exam– To check for problems with your ovaries and other parts of your reproductive tract
  •      Blood tests– To look for androgen and testosterone levels
  •      An ultrasound– To check for abnormal follicles and other problems with your uterus and ovaries

PCOS: When to See Your Doctor

See your doctor if you have:

  • Missed your periods
  • Diabetes symptoms, such as blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, and excess hunger or thirst
  • Been trying to get pregnant for over 12 months but remain unsuccessful

Call us at 843-572-1600 or book an appointment today if you are looking for expert treatment for PCOS.