Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) develops as a result of a hormone imbalance and it can cause a variety of painful and distressing symptoms. PCOS is also a leading cause of female infertility. If you have any symptoms of PCOS, the expert team at Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, can help. With the right treatment, you can manage your PCOS and increase your fertility. Call to schedule a consultation or book online today.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
The hormonal disorder PCOS is a condition that affects women between puberty and menopause.
If you have PCOS, it might be because there’s too much androgen in your body. Androgen is a hormone made by the body often associated with male characteristics. If your androgen levels are too high, it can disrupt your menstrual cycle.
You could also have insulin resistance, where your body doesn't respond to the hormone insulin. You need insulin to keep the sugar levels in your blood under control. If you have insulin resistance, blood sugar levels can rise to unhealthy levels, causing diabetes.
What complications can PCOS cause?
PCOS can cause a range of life-changing and potentially serious complications, including:
One of the major complications PCOS can cause is infertility. In many cases, it's when you go for fertility testing that your provider finds you have PCOS.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS affects women in different ways, but you might experience irregular periods or your menstrual cycle could be longer or shorter than usual. You might develop hirsutism, where excess body and facial hair grows, severe acne, and even male pattern baldness.
You might also have ovarian cysts, or fluid-filled sacs on your ovaries. However, not every woman who has PCOS develops cysts.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
There isn't a simple test for PCOS, and it's often not picked up unless it's causing noticeable symptoms. The team at Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness begins by looking through your medical history and asking about your current symptoms.
They then conduct an internal pelvic exam to see if there are any visible abnormalities in your reproductive organs. A transvaginal ultrasound uses a slim probe inserted in your vagina. This diagnostic test produces detailed images of your internal organs and enables your provider to check the lining of your uterus.
You’ll need to have blood tests as well to measure levels of the hormones androgen and insulin.
How is PCOS treated?
If you have PCOS, Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness offers treatments like hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to rebalance your hormone levels. These treatments can get your menstrual cycle back on track and reduce your symptoms.
It's also essential to make changes to a healthier lifestyle. PCOS symptoms worsen if you eat a poor diet, don't exercise regularly, or are overweight or obese. Weight loss and improved fitness could make a significant difference in the effect PCOS has on your life.
Find out whether you have PCOS and how to manage it by calling Philadelphia Women's Health & Wellness or booking an appointment online today.