In recent years, you have likely heard more discussions surrounding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and may wonder if you suffer from this hormonal imbalance. While it is a common female issue, many women are unaware they have this syndrome. At our Houston, Texas practice, we believe that simultaneously educating and treating our patients is the key to most successfully helping each and every one of you. If you want to know more about PCOS or think you may suffer from PCOS, please read on to learn more about this syndrome and how we can help treat it.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a syndrome resulting in many small sacs growing inside the ovaries, and the eggs in these sacs don’t mature enough for ovulation. This, in turn, alters hormone levels, specifically causing the production of a greater than average amount of male hormones. Occurring in between five to ten percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 years old, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility and hormone issues.
Why does PCOS occur?
To-date, there is no specific “cause” of this syndrome, but research has linked PCOS causes to genetics, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Also androgen (male hormones in females) levels that are higher than average are a large factor in the development of PCOS.
Where will I exhibit symptoms?
While infertility and irregular menstrual cycles are two of the most common symptoms of PCOS, they are not the only signs you should look out for if you think you may suffer. Women wih PCOS may also experience:
- Unwanted hair growth (especially on the face)
- Increased amount of acne
- Increased risk of other issues, such as type 2 diabetes
- Weight issues — either weight gain or difficulty gaining weight
- Lack of energy
If you think you may have PCOS, come visit us for a diagnosis. Diagnosing our patients for PCOS can include everything from a physical exam to blood tests to assess your hormone levels, frequency of your periods and if you exhibit cysts in your ovaries.
How do I treat it?
Since the cause of PCOS is not yet known and each woman is different, we treat each patient individually for PCOS. During treatment we evaluate everything from symptoms exhibited, other health concerns and desire to get pregnant as pregnancy is not impossible with PCOS.. We will work with you on a treatment plan that may include at-home measures as well as medicine.
PCOS is a lifelong health condition, but we can help you treat the symptoms and discuss your options for your childbearing years and beyond.