Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormone imbalance in women. Globally 1 in 10 women are affected in some way by PCOS. A third of women wait two or more years before even being diagnosed and 70% of women remain undiagnosed. Delayed diagnosis and treatment are a concern for women in their reproductive years as PCOS is the number one cause of female infertility.
While the exact cause of PCOS remains unknown, we do know the syndrome is directly related to a hormonal imbalance. Excess hormones produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands called “androgens” can be responsible for masculine traits often seen in women with PCOS. Some patients with PCOS may also develop “insulin resistance” which is a condition where the body fails to absorb glucose (blood sugar) effectively to produce energy. Lifestyle and genetics can also play a role in the diagnosis, management and treatment of PCOS.
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles or no menstrual cycles
- Hair thinning or loss (in the scalp area)
- Excessive hair growth (on the face and/or on the body)
- Weight issues (overweight or difficulty losing weight)
- Changes in mood (anxiety/depression)
While patients may experience similar symptoms, each patient is unique. PCOS must be diagnosed by a health care professional using a predetermined set of criteria. The determination is only made after careful review of health systems, individual and family history and testing results.
The reality is that the symptoms of PCOS have a cause and affect relationship that can lead to serious health conditions when left untreated.
“PCOS affects over 7 million women . . . That’s more than the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus combined.”
Louise Chang, MD
Florida Fertility Institute is pleased to provide care to those women with PCOS, especially those seeking to become pregnant. Given the nature of our specialty, we comprehensively treat women with PCOS in the early stages and throughout all stages of their life.