Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among women and girls. The hormonal imbalance causes symptoms such as irregular menstrual periods, a very large number of follicles (fluid filled sacs) on the ovaries, absence of ovulation, unwanted hair and acne.
Here are seven things you may not know about PCOS.
- PCOS affects one in 10 women in the United States.
- PCOS seems to run in families, and women and girls who are obese are more likely to have PCOS.
- A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications has identified genetic variants — changes in the DNA that make up our genes — associated with PCOS. The researchers found a signal for the FSH gene, which suggests that FSH, in either how it acts on the ovary or how it is secreted, is very important in the development of PCOS. FSH is produced in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain.
- There are several conditions that mimic PCOS. These include: thyroid disease, prolactin excess, Cushing syndrome and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
- If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, you need to get screenings for health problems that occur more often in PCOS, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, uterine cancer and sleep apnea.
- Women with PCOS are more prone to complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and birth of a premature baby. Talk to your doctor about managing the risks during pregnancy.
- Treatment for PCOS includes lifestyle changes to lose weight, metformin to lower blood sugar levels and help menstrual cycles become more regular, and fertility drugs such as clomiphene citrate to help with ovulation. Other treatments are available to help with symptoms such as unwanted hair growth, acne and scalp hair loss.
To understand more about PCOS, schedule an appointment with Dr. Laurence Jacobs by calling (888) 900-4649 or send an email to Laurence.firstname.lastname@example.org.