What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a health condition that affects women of reproductive age. It is caused by a hormonal imbalance that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, and other body systems. PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders, affecting between five and 10 percent of women of reproductive age. It is also one of the leading causes of infertility in women.
What Causes PCOS?
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it is believed to be linked to an imbalance of hormones. Women with PCOS typically have higher than normal levels of androgens, which are male hormones. These hormones can interfere with the development and release of eggs during ovulation, leading to infertility.
What Are the Symptoms of PCOS?
The symptoms of PCOS vary from woman to woman, but they often include irregular or absent menstrual periods, excess body hair, acne, and weight gain. Women with PCOS may also experience infertility, depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues.
How Is PCOS Diagnosed?
PCOS is typically diagnosed after a physical exam and blood tests to measure hormone levels. Additional tests such as ultrasound or MRI may be recommended to confirm the diagnosis. Additionally, a woman’s medical history and family history may be taken into account when making a diagnosis.
How Is PCOS Treated?
Treatment for PCOS depends on the severity of the symptoms and the woman’s health goals. Treatment may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, medication to regulate hormones, or surgery to remove cysts from the ovaries. Additionally, counseling may be recommended to help a woman cope with the emotional impact of the condition.