Poly What? Understanding PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) might be something you suspect you have; or it might be something that your loved one is diagnosed with. As September is PCOS awareness month, we would like to take this opportunity to give you a better understanding of this condition.

Firstly, this condition is not as uncommon as you may think. 1 in 10 women of childbearing age are affected with this health problem. Those with PCOS have ovaries or adrenal glands that produce more male hormones than normal. Some women with this disorder may produce cysts, fluid-filled sacs, which form on the ovaries. At this time, the exact cause of PCOS is unknown but there seems to be a relationship between being overweight and having PCOS, family history and insulin resistance (source: cdc.gov). There is currently no cure but there are options to help reduce symptoms and to help with infertility (more below).

Symptoms include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic pain
  • Excess hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, or thighs
  • Weight gain
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Patches of thickened skin

(source: MedlinePlus.gov)

If you suspect you may have PCOS, please contact your doctor. If you are diagnosed with PCOS, your doctor may give you medicine and a tailored treatment plan to follow, depending on your situation and also whether or not you plan to become pregnant. Those looking to treat their infertility by inducing ovulation may be given medicines like clomiphene (Clomid) and letrozole (Femara). IVF and IVM may be included infertility treatment options as well. (source: pcosaa.org). As far as reducing and controlling PCOS symptoms, one of the steps you can do yourself is maintain healthy eating habits and losing weight. More steps you can take at home to improve your PCOS symptoms here.

This information is not intended to be used for a diagnosis or as treatment. Always consult with your physician for questions on PCOS or other medical related concerns.

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