What is PCOS?
PCOS, which is polycystic ovary syndrome, is a gynecological problem that develops from an imbalance in reproductive hormones. Women with PCOS have higher levels of androgens, which are male sex hormones, and oftentimes luteinizing hormone, too.
These hormonal changes affect the ovaries and ovulation. Women with PCOS may not release an egg during ovulation, or the eggs may be abnormal.
PCOS also causes higher levels of insulin, which is a hormone that helps transport sugar from your blood into your cells to be used for energy.
Researchers are still investigating what causes PCOS, but they theorize that genetics may play a role.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
An irregular menstrual cycle is the most common sign of PCOS. Women with PCOS may only menstruate eight times a year.
Other PCOS symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Growth of facial hair
- Thinning of hair on the head
PCOS also increases your risk of developing other chronic health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, the team at Yorktown Health can help.
They also specialize in helping women suffering from pelvic pain. Though not a common symptom of PCOS, pelvic pain is a common problem in women. Your pelvic pain may be a sign of fibroids, ovarian cyst, or a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
How is PCOS diagnosed?
When you visit Yorktown Health with concerns about PCOS, your provider conducts an in-depth clinical exam to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis.
During your evaluation, they review your symptoms, gynecological and medical history, and family history. They perform a physical and pelvic exam.
To confirm or rule out a diagnosis, the team may perform an in-house ultrasound, as well as blood work to check your hormone levels.
If you have pelvic pain, the team also performs an ultrasound test to determine the cause.
How is PCOS treated?
The Yorktown Health team develops an individualized treatment plan for PCOS based on the severity of your symptoms.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Hormonal contraception
- Anti-androgen medication
- Metformin (to lower your blood sugar).
- Assistance with weight loss
- Recommendations for the management of unwanted hair
If you’re struggling with infertility, the team can design a treatment plan that improves your chances of conception.
To schedule your PCOS consultation at Yorktown Health, call the office or book an appointment online today.