Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of childbearing age. PCOS affects everything from hormonal levels to metabolism and can lead to weight gain, hair loss and irregular menstrual cycles. If you are concerned that you might have PCOS, or if you’re having conceiving because of PCOS, here’s what you should know:

What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

Some of the most common symptoms associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome include,

  • Irregular menstrual cycle: if you have PCOS you may skip periods, or your periods may show up more often; women with PCOS may also lose their periods.
  • Excessive hair growth: the majority of women with PCOS also notice excessive hair growth on the face, chin or toes (areas where hair isn’t as common for women)Acne: you may be prone to breakouts on the face and body
  • Hair loss: you may also notice thinning hair or hair loss
  • Weight gain: you may also unexpectedly gain weight or have trouble losing weight
     

What causes polycystic ovarian syndrome?

The cause of PCOS is unknown; however, it is believed that genetics may play a role in the development of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Male hormones known as androgens, as well as estrogen, are increased in women with PCOS. It is also believed that insulin may play a role, as many women with PCOS are also insulin resistant. Women who are obese or have also been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have insulin-resistant PCOS.

Is it possible to get pregnant with PCOS?

While PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility for women this doesn’t mean that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome can’t go on to have a healthy pregnancy.

The good news is that Dr. Brandeis and his team can help you get PCOS under control through medications such as contraception that can help manage irregular periods, as well as simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight. We can also discuss other ways to improve ovulation and increase your chances of getting pregnant naturally.

If you are experiencing symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and are having trouble getting pregnant, turn to the team at Brandeis Fertility Center of New York to find out about your options. Call us today at (718) 433-3833.

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