Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that has several symptoms including irregular menstrual periods, infertility, obesity and excess hair growth as well as acne, oily skin and patches of thickened, velvety, darkened skin called acanthosis nigricans and multiple cysts on the ovaries.

PCOS includes insulin resistance, increased levels of androgens, and an irregular menstrual cycle.  Insulin resistance is when the body’s cells do not respond to the effects of insulin and cause the level of glucose in the blood to increase.  These higher glucose levels may eventually lead to diabetes mellitus.  High levels of insulin may cause the appetite to increase and lead to imbalances of other hormones.
The high levels of androgens prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (anovulation).   The high androgen levels also cause unwanted hair growth and acne.

The irregular menstrual cycles can lead to infertility and the development of the multiple small cysts on the ovaries.

PCOS affects all areas of the body and places a women at increase risk of serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease as well as a pre- cancerous condition called endometrial hyperplasia in which the lining of the uterus becomes thickened.  If you suspect you may have PCOS please make an appointment to speak with one of our providers in order to discuss treatments available.