Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome



Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Q&A


What is PCOS?

PCOS is the most common cause of anovulation (not releasing an egg each menstrual cycle) and hyperandrogenism (elevated “male” hormones) in women with a prevalence of 10% in the general population.

PCOS arises from both genetic:

  • Maternal gynecologic history

  • Gene variants

and environmental factors:

  • Intrauterine exposures

  • Poor fetal nutrition

  • Insulin resistance oftentimes from obesity

  • Other conditions that cause hyperandrogenism

Early diagnosis of PCOS is important to prevent associated health risks such as uterine hyperplasia and possibly cancer, as well as many cardiometabolic dysfunctions. It is important to note that PCOS can also have a significant impact on a patient’s mental health, early diagnosis and management may drastically change this.

What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms of PCOS can present on a wide spectrum from milder to more severe manifestations, these are referred to as Phenotypes and include A, B, C, and D. Some patients may only meet the bare minimum for Rotterdam criteria, and others may fulfill all and also experience numerous additional signs and symptoms.

  • Irregular periods

  • Acne

  • Hirsutism

  • Male pattern balding

  • High testosterone levels on bloodwork

  • Pelvic pain

  • Overweight

  • Infertility

  • Insulin resistance on bloodwork



Who is at risk for PCOS?

There are certain conditions that can be associated with an increased risk of PCOS. Some were included above in the “What is PCOS?” section and are also included below:

  • Infertility

  • Obesity

  • Type 1 or 2 Diabetes, or pregnancy-related diabetes

  • Early age of onset of menses

  • First degree relative with PCOS

  • Certain ethnic groups (like African American and Australian Aborigines)

  • Seizure medications

At Gynecology Specialists, we are specialists in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and can help make the diagnosis and identify the best treatment plan for you.














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