Throughout the United States, more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome in a typical year. However, many women know little about this disorder, its symptoms and how it should be treated. That may make it difficult to seek the medical help they need.
Understanding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that causes physical changes to the ovaries. They become enlarged and develop small cysts on the outer edges. The underlying hormone issue leads to problems with the menstrual cycle and makes it harder to get pregnant.
Nobody knows exactly what causes polycystic ovary syndrome. Genetics is likely to be a major factor. If a family member on either side has suffered PCOS, your risk of developing the disorder becomes much higher. A family history of irregular periods or diabetes will also contribute to a greater risk of developing it.
Once developed, PCOS lasts for life. The good news, however, is that it can be treated and the symptoms controlled.
What are The Symptoms for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
Difficulties with menstruation are often the most obvious sign of PCOS. Most women who have this disease will experience nine or fewer periods each year, instead of a regular monthly menstrual cycle. Periods might even discontinue completely. When they do happen, they often come with very heavy bleeding.
Other symptoms may be easier to overlook at first. These include:
- Sudden, otherwise unexplained weight gain, with trouble losing weight;
- Extra hair on the face and body, particularly on the belly, chest and back;
- Thinning hair on the scalp;
In the course of PCOS, a woman’s body produces more androgens – male hormones – than usual. This is the core reason for many of the symptoms. PCOS can be verified by using basic tests to determine hormone levels in the body of the patient.
As PCOS continues, many women face changes in mood and, possibly, depression. Although it is not possible to completely cure PCOS, committing to a course of treatment often helps women feel better about managing the disease and its effects. This, in turn, can help regulate moods and depression.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treatment
Sarapy Clinic Internal Medicine treats Polycystic Ovary Syndrome by addressing the hormonal imbalance through hormone replacement therapy. This slows the progress of the disease and may help prevent the onset or worsening of conditions that can be associated with PCOS, such as diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome.
PCOS often begins very early in life, but is not detected until adulthood. The sooner treatment begins, the better the outcome is likely to be. To learn more, contact Sarapy Clinic today. We look forward to helping you!