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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of infertility in women, and it can also affect menstruation and ovulation. PCOS is basically a hormonal disorder that affects about 5-10% of women of childbearing age.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a medical condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. The ovaries produce male hormones in higher quantities than normal. These extra male hormones cause an imbalance of female hormones in the body. The effects of this hormonal imbalance include irregular menstrual cycles, unwanted hair growth, and acne. Although PCOS is often the cause of infertility, it is not the only reason for infertility in women.
There is no cure for PCOS, but there are treatments that can balance the hormone system so that symptoms can be minimized. Medications that can restore normal ovulation are often prescribed to women with PCOS. Weight loss often helps the symptoms of PCOS as well. Lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can also help alleviate the symptoms. Some women find that herbal remedies can help to balance their hormones naturally without the side effects of prescription medications.
Women with PCOS have an increased risk of developing other medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia, depression, and cancer. It is important to follow up with your primary care doctor regularly to monitor your PCOS symptoms and work to prevent complications in the future.
While PCOS itself has no symptoms, the complications of the condition are often very disruptive to everyday life. A hormonal imbalance can lead to irregular or missed periods, unwanted hair growth, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, acne and other related skin problems, and excess facial and body hair. Other common symptoms of PCOS include mood swings, depression, and fatigue. This disease can also have a negative impact on fertility due to the effects it can have on ovulation.
How Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Diagnosed?
A healthcare provider can diagnose PCOS through a comprehensive physical exam, including hormone and blood sugar testing. They will review your medical history as well.
If you suspect that you have symptoms of PCOS, it’s best to visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Once you’ve been properly diagnosed with PCOS, you can begin treatment to help balance your hormones and improve your symptoms and quality of life.
Blood tests can show whether you have high testosterone or insulin levels. Both of these results may indicate that you are experiencing an insulin imbalance, which can contribute to the development of PCOS.
It’s important to understand that some women with PCOS have normal levels of blood testing and hormone levels but still have many of the common signs of the condition. For instance, you may have irregular periods, weight gain, acne, or infertility despite having normal hormone levels. In this case, you may still be experiencing PCOS even though your blood work is normal. Your healthcare provider should monitor you closely for signs that your symptoms are not improving over time.
Other women may have low testosterone levels and high estrogen levels. This combination of elevated hormones can be characteristic of PCOS even if you don’t have other symptoms.
Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome use medications to help manage their symptoms. Medications such as birth control pills, insulin-sensitizing drugs, or oral medication may be prescribed to help lower androgen levels in the body.
While medications are often necessary, there are also natural ways to help balance hormones naturally.
Making changes to your lifestyle can often help manage hormone imbalances.
To learn about the healthcare services we offer at MediPro Pain & Performance, Beaverton, OR, call (503) 828-9265 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 17933 NW Evergreen Place, Ste 285, Beaverton, OR 97006.