Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 women, disrupting their menstrual periods, causing infertility, and increasing their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The experienced team at Midwest Women Obstetrician/Gynecologist Ltd in Downers Grove, Illinois, performs diagnostic testing to verify PCOS, then they tailor your treatment plan, combining lifestyle and medical therapies to restore your health. If you have irregular periods or dark hair growth on your face or chest, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Call the office or request an appointment online today.
PCOS occurs when women have unusually high androgen levels. Androgens are male hormones, but women need them in small amounts to regulate their reproductive system and keep their bones, muscles, and heart healthy.
If androgen levels rise above normal, they disrupt ovarian function, interfere with ovulation (releasing an egg), and cause serious health problems.
High androgens also cause insulin resistance. As a result, many women with PCOS have elevated insulin levels and high blood sugar.
The primary symptoms caused by PCOS include:
Your ovaries may intermittently release an egg or stop ovulating altogether. This causes irregular menstrual periods and often heavy bleeding or no periods.
Women with PCOS often develop many cysts in their ovaries. However, you can be diagnosed with PCOS and not have cysts. As ovarian cysts enlarge, they cause pelvic pain and bloating.
Hirsutism, the growth of coarse, dark hair on your face, chest, abdomen, and thighs, affects 70% of women with PCOS. At the same time, high androgens can lead to hair loss on your scalp. You may also develop acne and skin tags.
Without treatment, PCOS leads to serious health complications, including:
In addition to causing infertility, PCOS raises your risk of complications if you get pregnant.
The team at Midwest Women OB/GYN Ltd provides comprehensive care for PCOS. They individualize your treatment based on your symptoms, hormone levels, and whether you have other chronic health conditions.
Your PCOS treatment may include:
PCOS significantly impacts your metabolism, weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol. One of the best ways to restore balance is by following a healthy diet and exercising more.
It’s also important to lose weight if needed. Weight loss directly lowers your androgen levels, blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Hormone-based birth control methods can help restore regular menstrual cycles, lower your risk of endometrial cancer, and improve acne and hirsutism. Some women may need anti-androgen medications. Medications used to treat diabetes may also lower androgens and restore ovulation.
If you have any symptoms of PCOS, don’t wait to schedule an evaluation. Call Midwest Women OB/GYN Ltd or book an appointment online today.