Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine system* disorder that affects the ovaries and sex hormones of women. It is estimated that between 5 and 10% of women are affected in the United States alone, and many are not diagnosed or don’t even know they have it. The most obvious symptom is ovarian cysts, but PCOS affects the entire body. Women who suffer from PCOS may experience any number of the following symptoms:
- irregular periods or skipped periods
- prolonged, heavy bleeding
- painful periods
- dark patches of skin on neck, groin or places where skin folds
- ovarian cysts
- acne and/or very oily skin
- excess facial and body hair
- significant weight gain or trouble losing weight
- thinning hair
- high blood pressure, triglycerides, or cholesterol
- insulin resistance or type 2 Diabetes
There is no cure for PCOS, but early detection and medical intervention can help women restore their quality of life— unfortunately, like many medical issues out there, there is no simple, easy test for diagnosis. PCOS diagnosis is usually a result of “ruling out” other issues, but as a doctor who is both an OBG/YN and surgeon, I am familiar with PCOS and can help you start your treatment plan.
Treatment plans include medication, surgery, lifestyle changes, and/or cosmetic treatments depending on the severity of your condition and symptoms. An important part of treatment also includes making a plan to prevent health risks that are associated with PCOS like diabetes, liver disease, anxiety & depression, infertility, or high cholesterol (among others). It will be very important to create a long-term gameplan for management and maintenance of this disorder.
*A woman’s endocrine system is comprised of the following glands: hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, pineal, parathyroid, thymus, ovaries, pancreas, and adrenals. http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/about-endocrine-system