Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects women of childbearing age. If you have this disorder, your menstrual cycle is irregular, which can adversely affect your ability to get pregnant. Your periods may be few and far between, and you may not ovulate.

Although the specific cause of PCOS isn’t known, women who are diagnosed and treated early on can reduce their risks of additional medical problems. Maintaining a healthy weight can lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of PCOS

Usually, symptoms of the disorder appear at the onset of puberty. However, in some cases, it may manifest later if the individual has gained a significant amount of weight. Symptoms can vary, but PCOS can be diagnosed after at least two key signs.

Irregular periods that result in rare or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of the disorder. You are considered as having an irregular cycle if you have over 35 days between periods, abnormally heavy bleeding during periods or you get fewer than nine periods per year.

PCOS is often characterized by an excess of androgen, higher levels of male hormones. You may notice facial or body hair, acne, and even baldness as a result.

Additionally, your ovaries may be enlarged, with follicles surrounding the eggs, which can result in ovarian failure.

a woman talking to a doctor

When to See a Doctor

If your symptoms are bothersome or you want to get pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. There are various options available for treating your condition.

Treatment for PCOS

Treatment for PCOS mainly focuses on lifestyle changes to address issues related to your condition. Sometimes, medication may be necessary. Lifestyle changes involve consuming a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Even losing 5 pounds can improve your condition and boost your fertility.

The doctor may prescribe birth control pills or progestin therapy to help regulate your menstrual cycle. If your ovulation is irregular or infrequent, you may be prescribed certain medications like gonadotropins, clomiphene, letrozole or metformin if you have type 2 diabetes as well.

It’s important to speak with your doctor about your personal concerns regarding your condition. If you have one or two particular symptoms that bother you, you can get treatment to help you feel better. It can help you to better live with your PCOS under control.

Contact us to set up a safe and socially distanced telehealth appointment if you think you might have PCOS.

Do you have more questions about symptoms you may be experiencing in the Salem, OregonContact our friendly staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!

The post was first published on wfmchealth.org.