Women of reproductive age who are experiencing infrequent or prolonged menstrual cycles and display the physical signs of higher androgen levels, such as increased facial hair or severe acne, may want to visit with a provider at Northwestern Women’s Center for an evaluation. These symptoms are common in women who have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is an acronym for polycystic ovary syndrome. This condition impacts women who may have ovaries that are enlarged and collect fluid which keeps them from releasing eggs regularly. When this condition occurs, it is important for patients to fully understand how it impacts them far beyond reproductive concerns.
What are the consequences of PCOS?
PCOS can impact women in a number of ways. Some of the more common complications that are seen in patients with PCOS include:
- Infertility and miscarriages
- Gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Severe liver inflammation from fat accumulation
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Depression and anxiety
- Endometrial cancer
While obesity is not necessarily a cause of PCOS, it can worsen the complications of the disorder.
Who is at risk of developing PCOS?
There is no known exact cause of PCOS. However, there are some factors that may be present that can increase a patient’s risk of developing the condition. These include:
- Patients who produce excess insulin
- Patients with low-grad inflammation
- Patients who have relatives with PCOS
- Patients with excess levels of androgen hormones
If I have a diagnosis of PCOS, how do I treat it?
In most situations, patients can address the symptoms of the condition with either lifestyle changes or medication. Lifestyle changes may include weight loss through a lower-calorie diet and routine exercise. Reducing weight by even five percent of one’s body weight can dramatically improve PCOS symptoms. Additionally, with the use of medications, patients can regulate their menstrual cycle, stimulate ovulation for increased fertility, and reduce excessive hair growth caused by higher levels of androgen.
Schedule a visit at Northwest Women’s Center of Houston, TX today
Call (281) 444-3440 to speak with our doctors at Northwest Women’s Center and get a proper diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome and discuss treatment options. Our practice is located at 13215 Dotson Road, Ste. 200.