Acne breakouts, thinning hair, weight gain — sound familiar? You may think it’s just stress, but did you know these are also symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? PCOS is a hormonal disorder that usually affects women who are in the reproductive age of life, between the ages of 18 and 50. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but if you have any PCOS symptoms below, you should visit your primary care physician for advice.
Symptoms of PCOS:
- Thinning hair and hair loss on the head
- Extra hair growth on other body parts (face, arms, etc.)
- Weight gain
- Increased blood sugar
- Irregular periods; typically longer periods
- Fertility issues
- Increased testosterone
Why is it Difficult to Get Pregnant with PCOS?
PCOS is caused by a hormone imbalance. High levels of androgens interfere with the ovulation process. In other words, the high level of hormones cause your body to struggle to develop and release healthy eggs.. Without healthy eggs, fertilization by sperm cannot occur.
How is PCOS Diagnosed and Treated?
A doctor will have to test for PCOS and offer suggestions for ways to manage it. Unfortunately, there is not a cure for PCOS, but there are medications that can help with the testosterone levels, hair loss, and increased sugar levels. If you have any of the above symptoms and are not sure what is causing them, it’s important to consult with a doctor. Sometimes the symptoms are not as drastic, and can be overlooked during a doctor’s visit.
Thankfully, some patients that have been diagnosed with PCOS report improvements in symptoms, such as regrowth of hair and disappearance of acne.