Symptoms and Complications of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that affects hormone levels in women. It affects your ovaries and reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone hormones. You tend to have higher amounts of male hormones than usual, and cysts may form in your ovaries. The hormonal imbalance makes your body skip menstrual periods. Sometimes you may not show symptoms of PCOS. If you do not have symptoms, your specialist, Dr. Michael Cho, can diagnose you have the disease after you fail to conceive. Doctors can treat PCOS through medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

Symptoms of PCOS

You may experience PCOS symptoms around the first time in your period. Sometimes you can discover the condition after gaining excess weight or having trouble getting pregnant. The symptoms of PCOS include:

Irregular periods: If you lack ovulation, the uterine lining may not shed every month. Sometimes you may get less than eight periods per year or have none.

Heavy bleeding: When you have PCOS, the uterine lining builds up for a prolonged period, making your periods heavier than usual.

Hair growth: You may grow hair on your face, back, belly, and chest. This issue happens to about seventy percent of PCOS patients.

Acne: Male hormones can make your skin oiler, causing breakouts on your face, chest, and upper back.

Weight gain: About eighty percent of PCOS patients are obese or overweight.

Skin darkening: Dark skin patches can develop in body creases such as those in your neck, groin, and under the breasts.

Headaches: Hormonal imbalance triggers headaches in some women.

Male pattern baldness: When you have PCOS, you tend to produce higher male hormones. Higher male hormone levels can make the scalp hair thinner or fall out.

Mood changes: Hormonal changes can lead to unwanted emotions.

Complications of PCOS

Infertility: You must ovulate to get pregnant. If you do not ovulate regularly, you cannot release enough healthy eggs to be fertilized. PCOS is among the leading causes of infertility in females. But you can manage to get pregnant under particular medications.

Metabolic syndrome: Most PCOS patients are overweight or obese. Weight issues increase the risk of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high or low cholesterol levels. All these factors can lead to heart diseases, diabetes, or stroke.

Sleep apnea: This condition causes repeated breathing pauses while you sleep. Sleep apnea is common in women with PCOS who are overweight. You are at higher risk of having sleep apnea if you have both PCOS and are obese than having PCOS alone.

Endometrial cancer: During ovulation, your uterine lining sheds. The lining can build up if you do not ovulate or ovulate irregularly. A thickened uterine lining can increase the chance of developing endometrial cancer. 

Depression: Hormonal changes, infertility, and symptoms like unwanted hair growth can negatively impact your emotions. These effects can eventually lead to anxiety and depression.

Polycystic ovary syndrome can alter your menstrual cycle and cause acne, hair loss, and obesity. The hormonal imbalance in PCOS can increase the chances of infertility, sleep apnea, endometrial cancer, and metabolic syndrome. Schedule an appointment at University Reproductive Associates for polycystic ovary syndrome treatment to prevent further complications.

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