Do you have erratic cycles with no regularity?
Have you noticed excess facial hair?
Has your weight increased or have you had trouble losing the extra pounds?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This condition, which affects as many as 5 million women in the U.S., is caused by a hormone imbalance. With PCOS, the ovaries produce more male hormones, called androgens, than normal, which interferes with the menstruation and ovulation. PCOS has also been linked to high levels of insulin, a hormone that converts sugar and starch into energy for your body. Too much insulin increases the production of these male hormones.
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
Because PCOS impacts your menstrual cycles, it can also influence your ability to become pregnant. PCOS interrupts the normal ovulation process, so often patients with PCOS won’t ovulate at all. In fact, PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in females of childbearing age. No cure exists for PCOS, but treatment can help control the symptoms. Therapy options depend on whether you are trying to conceive and may include lifestyle changes, birth control pills, diabetes medicines, fertility medications, and/or surgery.
Women who think they think have PCOS should talk with their doctors and have a complete evaluation. For more information about PCOS or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Douglas, contact our office.