Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Doctors don’t really understand PCOS. It’s up to you to educate yourself and become empowered.

Amy Medling, PCOS Diva

Mayo clinic describes Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) as a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. They may have infrequent or prolonged periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. The exact cause is unknown.

If you experience at least two of these signs or symptoms , a diagnosis of PCOS can be made:

  • Irregular periods – Infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, you might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods and abnormally heavy periods.
  • Excess androgen – Elevated levels of male hormone may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.
  • Polycystic ovaries –  Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.

Please note that these signs and symptoms are typically more severe if you’re obese.

Complications of PCOS can include:

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression, anxiety and eating disorders
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer)
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