What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone disorder that affects 5%-10% of reproductive- aged women. Women diagnosed with PCOS have ovaries that produce excessive amounts of androgens and estrogen and typically experience following symptoms:
- Inability to ovulate (anovulation)
- High testosterone levels (hyperandrogenism) OR excessive hair growth
- Polycystic appearing ovaries. While this is how the syndrome was first described, “cysts” is actually a misnomer. Due to hormonal dysfunction, women with PCOS have more than the typical number of “follicles” (each follicle contains one egg) seen on ultrasound.
How is the syndrome diagnosed?
Women must experience two of the above three symptoms to be diagnosed with PCOS.
Who should consider testing and why?
PCOS poses many risks if not treated properly. Women with:
- Irregular periods
- Abnormal or excessive hair growth
- Inability to detect ovulation due to irregular length of cycles
- When a woman is unable to ovulate, it interrupts the hormone cycle, and allows the lining of the uterus to grow thicker than normal (called “hyperplasia”). This may cause abnormal bleeding and be disruptive to your life, as well as medically dangerous. If untreated, hyperplasia can lead to uterine cancer.
- Irregular periods typically result from lack of ovulation—which can lead to infertility. Contact the team of doctors at NRM today to learn about lifestyle changes and medications that can help you ovulate and conceive.
- Impaired glucose tolerance is closely tied to PCOS. It is important to ensure that you are not at increased risk for diabetes mellitus.
What are the steps?
Whether or not you are trying to conceive, you may benefit from treatment. Therapy can improve your chances of ovulation, regular periods, and fertility. Therapy can also help to decrease unwanted hair growth and acne.
If a woman is overweight, losing weight can be a great way to help improve ovulation and fertility. Medication is typically used to help a woman ovulate regularly if they are trying to conceive. Women not trying to get pregnant are prescribed oral contraceptive pills to reduce extra hair growth and acne. Treatment is tailored to the needs of each individual woman and the situation at that time.
Why Choose NRM?
Your team of physicians at NRM consists of experienced researchers and practitioners in the area of PCOS. We have participated in two groundbreaking studies on the treatment of PCOS with the Reproductive Medicine Network, a multi-center, national organization. Dr. Peter Casson co-authored these studies, which have been presented at national meetings and in the New England Journal of Medicine.
At NRM, we provide a comfortable office setting with personalized care to each and every patient treated in our office. We make sure we customize treatment and keep open lines of communication for the most successful and optimal care. Click here to learn more about us.