Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in women that affect the way their ovaries and reproductive organs function. Women can develop this condition during their childbearing years, which is between the ages of 15-44. The name can be misleading because not all women diagnosed with PCOS have cysts on their ovaries. However, when these cysts are present they are like small, fluid-filled sacs that grow inside the ovaries. Each cyst actually contains one immature egg that did not trigger during the ovulation cycle. The inconsistent ovulation then triggers the imbalance of hormone production.
Symptoms can vary and many times women have PCOS and do not even know it. However, irregular or heavy menstrual cycles, high levels of androgen, or male sex hormone, and infertility can be linked to having PCOS. Other signs and symptoms can include…
Excess hair growth
Acne or oily skin
Darkened skin on the neck or armpits
Having PCOS may also increase your risk of developing other health concerns like diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol.
The cause of PCOS development is still unknown, however, researchers believe it is heredity. PCOS can develop due to hormonal imbalance, inflammation, and high levels of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the sugar levels in the body. Many women with PCOS are insulin resistant, which prompts the body to produce more and affects their ability to ovulate. This process contributes to the increased production of hormones, including testosterone.
Low levels of the hormone progesterone, can also be a result of PCOS. This can cause a woman to not have menstrual cycles for a long time or have trouble guessing when it will come.
There is not a single test that can diagnose PCOS, but blood tests and ultrasounds can identify whether or not it is present in the body. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be addressed. Adopting healthier habits and focusing on hormonal balance will definitely get you on the right track. This is how I help women with PCOS in my practice. Some refer to me as the hormone boss because of my no-nonsense approach to hormonal imbalance. To learn more about my services, click here!