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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal problem that may cause missed menstrual periods or periods last longer than they should. Often a person with PCOS will have high levels of the male hormones (androgens) and fluid filled sacs in their ovaries (cysts) that represent eggs that have not been released during ovulation. Some women who have this disorder will not have the appearance of cysts on their ovaries.


There is no known cause of PCOS though other women in the family may have a history of this diagnosis. Many women with this condition will also have a problem called insulin resistance that causes their body not to use insulin well. This condition, along with obesity can make symptoms of PCOS worse.


Signs and Symptoms of PCOS include: irregular periods, increased androgen levels that may lead to acne, excess hair growth or loss, abnormal weight gain, and enlarged ovaries (with and without cysts).


Conditions associated with PCOS are infertility, pregnancy induced high blood pressure or diabetes, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, endometrial cancer, depression and anxiety.


PCOS is diagnosed with a detailed medical history, physical exam, lab tests and pelvic ultrasounds.


Treatment for PCOS involves a healthy diet that will normalize and maintain an optimal body weight, moderate exercise, hormonal therapy, infertility medications, medicines to normalize insulin levels and other therapies for associated conditions.

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