What You Need to Know About PCOS

September is PCOS Awareness Month. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome affects approximately 10% of reproductiveaged women, and its the main cause of lack of ovulation in the reproductive age group.

While PCOS Awareness Month provides an opportunity to draw attention to this condition, its important year-round to educate yourself with as much knowledge of this syndrome. In addition, PCOS is linked to other diseases such as prediabetes/diabetes and thyroid disease, so it can truly impact your overall health. Ensuring you get a proper diagnosis and taking care of your health can decrease your symptoms.

Ovulation Disorders

Problems with ovulation are a common cause of infertility, accounting for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility cases. Some ovulation disorders are that your ovaries arent producing the amount of estrogen needed to release eggs regularly. This is known as Premature Ovarian Failure (POF).

In other cases, ovulation is affected by a hormonal imbalance when the pituitary gland or brain is not releasing the correct hormones, and a woman is producing higher-than-normal amounts of male hormones. This is polycystic ovarian syndrome and leads to either irregular or no periods. This can make trying to conceive very difficult.

PCOS Symptoms

Symptoms of PCOS can begin anywhere from puberty to early adulthood. The most commonly reported symptoms are:

Irregular or missed periods as a result of not ovulating.
Cysts on their ovaries, many people do not.
Weight gain
Acne
Darkened patches of skin
Low energy or fatigue
Unwanted hair growth (also known as hirsutism)
Thinning hair on the head
Infertility (PCOS is a leading cause of female infertility)
Mood changes, depression, and/or anxiety
Pelvic pain
Headaches
Sleep issues

Since symptoms vary and can differ from woman to woman, its possible to be misdiagnosed or untreated. In some cases, some women and girls may not even be aware they may have PCOS. This is why raising awareness is so vital. PCOS is a very common disease that affects many women of reproductive age. Women need to understand this disease as it may impact their fertility and have other lifelong effects.

If You Symptoms of PCOS

Suppose you suspect you have PCOS or have been diagnosed with this condition and want to know the first steps. In that case, you should know that our team may prescribe fertility medications to stimulate ovulation if you’re not ovulating or ovulating irregularly. Also, since women with PCOS who lose weight will begin to ovulate normally, depending on their current weight, we may also recommend losing weight to help.

In general, if you have PCOS and are trying to conceive, it will require medication that allows you to release an egg predictably. The drug used can be as simple as a pill. Women who are not trying to conceive but would like to manage symptoms may succeed in using a birth control pill.

Final Thoughts

The biggest takeaway is that women with PCOS tend to have a very good prognosis for achieving pregnancy. Unfortunately, reviewing symptoms and signs and considering second options can sometimes be lost in the discussion when receiving the diagnosis. But, with the proper care, the outlook is good.

Second, there are other lifelong risks with having a diagnosis of PCOS that will require monitoring and management, so being proactive about any concerns you may have about PCOS is a smart move for your fertility and your long-term health.

As always, make sure to advocate for yourself and get a doctor to take your concerns and symptoms seriously!

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