PCOS: What does it actually mean?

PCOS, Houtson, TX

PCOS is one of those things that doesn’t feel as commonly-known as it should be. And, if you’re struggling to make sense of symptoms, stumbling upon PCOS and finding that your symptoms match up can be both a relief and a little bit scary. Keep reading to learn more about PCOS and what you can do about it.

What is PCOS?

PCOS causes a woman’s body to produce high levels of androgens. Androgens are usually thought of as male hormones, because men have much higher levels of androgens than women. But, women do have them, too. But on a smaller scale. Abnormally high levels of androgens interfere with the development of your eggs and the regular release of them, which means that your period can be unpredictable. Also, when you have PCOS, your ovaries are larger than normal. These bigger ovaries can have many tiny cysts that contain immature eggs, which is obviously not what we want!

How does it affect fertility?

High androgen levels impact how your eggs are developed. If a healthy egg isn’t released, it can’t be fertilized by sperm, meaning you can’t become pregnant. PCOS can even cause you to miss your period or have irregular periods. This is usually what women notice first, and this leads them to head to the doctor to find answers.

How can I treat it?

For some women, gaining a lot of weight can affect their hormones. In turn, losing weight, if you’re overweight, may help move your hormones back to normal levels. Did you know that losing 10% of your body weight (if you are obese or overweight) may help your menstrual cycle become more predictable? In general, though, eating better, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, dealing with stress in healthy ways, and control of diabetes and other medical conditions should improve your fertility odds.

Remember, if your period isn’t happening on a regular basis, or you’ve already been diagnosed with PCOS, work closely with your doctor to help manage it. And if you want to get pregnant, talking with a fertility specialist is your best bet.

If you want to learn more, give us a call at 281.444.3440 to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: OB/GYN

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