Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, affects one in 10 women during their reproductive years, which is a small consolation for those that suffer from the disorder. PCOS not only interferes with your ability to get pregnant, but it can also have a serious impact on your appearance.
PCOS Q & A
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, describes an imbalance in your reproductive hormones, which affects your egg production. With PCOS, your body secretes high levels of androgens, the hormones associated with male sexual characteristics.
As a result, PCOS creates an imbalance in your hormone levels, and your eggs may not develop or release properly. This leads to cysts on your ovaries, which are largely harmless.
There are a number of symptoms that signal the presence of PCOS, including:
- Irregular periods
- Hirsutism, which is hair growth on your face, back, and other areas typically associated with male hair growth patterns
- Thinning hair on your head
- Weight gain
- Skin tags
- Darkening skin
One of the more significant results of PCOS is the inability to conceive. In fact, PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women.
The cause of PCOS remains a mystery, but researchers are linking several factors that put you more at risk of developing PCOS, such as:
- Insulin resistance
To determine whether PCOS is at play, the gynecologists at Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, P.A., perform a thorough physical examination. They use blood work to determine your hormone levels and advanced imaging to spot cyst formation.
A crucial step in this diagnostic evaluation is reviewing your medical history and your family’s medical history to spot any risk factors associated with the condition.
If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, the gynecologists at Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, P.A. sit down with you to come up with a treatment plan that best fits your goals. When treating PCOS, the doctors mainly concentrate on mitigating the symptoms, since there’s no cure for the condition.
For example, if you want to regulate your periods and halt the unwanted hair growth and acne, oral contraceptives help balance your hormone levels. This treatment, however, doesn’t help if you want to get pregnant.
If having a child is your goal, the OB/GYNs work with you to find a solution to get your egg production back on track through medications. And they may also suggest in vitro fertilization as an option.
If you’re suffering from the effects of PCOS, call Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, P.A. to get treated. Or, use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.