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
and environmental factors:
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.
Male pattern balding
High testosterone levels on bloodwork
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:
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)
At Gynecology Specialists, we are specialists in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and can help make the diagnosis and identify the best treatment plan for you.