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Home » OB/GYN Services In Houston, TX » PCOS Treatment (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

PCOS Treatment
(Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

Polycystic ovaries do not cause pain. Pain in your ovaries could be due to ovulation or from a cyst due to other reasons than PCOS. Large painful cysts are not related to PCOS.

PCOS Specialist

PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is associated with a host of bothersome symptoms as well as an increased risk for infertility and diabetes. Northwest Women’s Center offers different PCOS treatments in Houston, TX, customizing care for each patient to ensure optimal long-term results.


PCOS Q & A

Northwest Women’s Center

What is PCOS?

PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome, a chronic condition that can cause an array of symptoms and occurs when the normal ovulation cycle (the release of eggs) is disrupted. The cause of PCOS is unknown, but researchers believe it may be related to genetics, excess insulin or problems with insulin processing, or even chronic inflammatory conditions. In PCOS, hormonal irregularities including increased production of androgen hormones cause tiny cysts to form inside the ovaries, interfering with normal ovulation.

What is the cause of PCOS?

The causes of PCOS aren’t fully understood. But hormones trigger various important processes in the body, everything from growth to energy production to moods. Since hormones can trigger processes in other hormones, finding exact causes of imbalances such as PCOS can be almost impossible.

However, there are certain factors that are thought to play a role in PCOS:

  • Excess insulin — Insulin is the hormone that allows our cells to use sugar for energy. If the cells become resistant to insulin, this can make sugar levels rise, which can trigger additional insulin production. Excess insulin might increase androgen production.
  • Heredity — Certain genes seem to be passed on to create a tendency to develop PCOS.
  • Low-grade inflammation — Women with PCOS seem to have a low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgen.
  • Excess androgen production — In some women, the ovaries produce an abnormally high level of androgen.

Do your ovaries hurt when you have PCOS?

Polycystic ovaries do not cause pain. Pain in your ovaries could be due to ovulation or from a cyst due to other reasons than PCOS. Large painful cysts are not related to PCOS.

What symptoms are caused by PCOS?

PCOS symptoms can vary from one person to another, but most commonly they include:

  • irregular periods, including periods that occur less frequently or periods that are heavier or lighter than average
  • absence of periods (amenorrhea)
  • irregular periods, including periods that occur less frequently or periods that are heavier or lighter than average
  • absence of periods (amenorrhea)
  • facial hair growth (also called hirsutism)
  • acne
  • obesity
  • infertility
  • facial hair growth (also called hirsutism)
  • acne
  • obesity
  • infertility

When it is necessary to remove ovarian cysts with surgery?

Usually, cysts develop and are asymptomatic and they tend to go away without any treatment in two months or so. But sometimes an ovarian cyst can become quite painful or it can be an indicator of a more serious health problem. In these cases, laparoscopic surgery is used to remove the cyst. These cysts are not the result of PCOS.

Here are five reasons where we could recommend removing a cyst at Northwest Women’s Center:

  • Extreme pain occurs in the lower abdominal area
  • The cyst is unusually large (a normal cyst is usually less than 2.5 inches in diameter)
  • The cyst is solid and not filled with fluid
  • The cyst is suspected to be linked to ovarian cancer
  • Development of the cysts is considered abnormal (for instance, pre-pubescent young girls and post-menopausal women should not develop functional ovarian cysts)

Women with PCOS are also at an increased risk for developing some serious medical conditions like diabetes and osteoporosis.

Can polycystic ovaries burst?

No. Polycystic ovarian syndrome cysts are different than the kind of ovarian cysts that grow, rupture, and cause pain.

Are there different types of PCOS?

There is some debate whether there are different types of PCOS. That’s because some women with PCOS experience all of the possible symptoms of PCOS, while other women only have one or two symptoms. It can be helpful to break PCOS patients into at least two categories:

  • Metabolic group — These women have higher levels of blood glucose and insulin, along with lower levels of sex hormone-binding globulin and luteinizing hormone.
  • Reproductive group — These women have higher levels of sex hormone-binding globulin and luteinizing hormone, and lower body mass index, blood glucose, and insulin levels.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

Diagnosis of PCOS can usually be accomplished with a physical exam and a review of the patient’s medical history and symptoms. Blood tests and ultrasound exams can also be used to confirm a diagnosis and rule out other possible causes of symptoms. Early diagnosis of PCOS is important for initiating treatment as soon as possible so more serious complications like diabetes and osteoporosis may be prevented.

How can PCOS be treated?

Although there is no cure for PCOS, the symptoms can be successfully managed with ongoing care and treatment. Losing excess weight, being more physically active and eating a healthier diet can be very helpful in managing many symptoms, and medications like birth control pills or other hormone medications can be useful in regulating ovulation so periods are more normal. Birth control pills may also reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women who have very infrequent periods of no periods at all. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove the cysts or to remove the ovaries in women who do not want to become pregnant. Fertility treatments may be effective for those women who do want to become pregnant but are having problems conceiving.

Do you avoid certain foods if you have PCOS?

High blood sugar levels can lead to higher than normal insulin levels. This in turn leads to an increase in androgen production. To combat that, you can adopt a low-carbohydrate diet, although it is almost impossible to avoid carbohydrates completely. If you do eat carbohydrates, choose complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates pack in more nutrients than simple carbs. They’re higher in fiber and digest more slowly. This also makes them more filling, so they help you manage your weight.

These are examples of complex carbohydrates:

  • Whole grains
  • Fiber-rich fruits such as apples, berries, and bananas
  • Fiber-rich vegetables such as broccoli, leafy greens, and carrots
  • Beans

These are examples of simple carbs that you should eat less of:

  • Soda
  • Baked treats
  • Packaged cookies
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Breakfast cereal

What happens if I don’t treat my PCOS?

There is no cure for PCOS. The key is to manage your symptoms. This is especially true if you plan on having children and to avoid long-term health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

PCOS can cause problems during pregnancy for both you and your baby. Women with PCOS have higher rates of:

  • Miscarriage
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Cesarean section

Your baby has a higher risk of being heavy and of spending more time in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Leaving PCOS untreated increases your risks for a variety of other health problems, as well. These include:

  • Diabetes — More than half of women with PCOS will have diabetes or prediabetes before the age of 40.
  • High blood pressure — Women with PCOS are at a greater risk of having high blood pressure.
  • Unhealthy cholesterol — Women with PCOS have higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Sleep apnea — Being overweight due to PCOS can lead to sleep apnea.
  • Depression and anxiety — These are common in women with PCOS.
  • Endometrial cancer — Problems with ovulation, obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes (all common in women with PCOS) increase the risk of developing this form of cancer.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you're interested in learning more about PCOS treatment please contact us for a consultation at 281.444.3440 or fill out our contact us form below. We will discuss your needs and concerns, and determine your best course of action.

New to our practice and want to schedule an appointment? Contact us by calling our office.

 

For existing patients, please contact us through the Patient Portal.
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