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FAQs with Dr. Jean Chen: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Posted on December 20, 2022

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. While the exact cause is unknown, PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility, and women with PCOS also have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes

The condition has a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, excessive hair growth, and polycystic ovaries.

PCOS is one of the most common diseases in females that is diagnosed and treated by endocrinologists. In this blog, Dr. Jean Chen answers some frequently asked questions about polycystic ovary syndrome and provides her expert insights on the condition.

What is an endocrinologist’s role in diagnosing and treating PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder that can involve dysfunction of multiple endocrine glands, such as the ovaries, adrenal glands, and pituitary gland. This can, unfortunately, produce a hormone imbalance. PCOS is considered a diagnosis of exclusion and, therefore, a complete endocrine work up by an endocrinologist is often needed before a diagnosis of PCOS can be made.

Do you work with other physicians to help manage PCOS patients?

There are multiple complications of PCOS, and it does take a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive care. Our team of endocrinologists frequently need to work with primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and OB/gynecologists.

Why is diagnosing PCOS challenging? 

​The symptoms of PCOS can sometimes be nonspecific, and there are other endocrine disorders that can mimic PCOS, such as Cushing’s syndrome or congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Also, PCOS presents on a spectrum. Therefore, for some patients that do not necessarily have all the classical symptoms of PCOS or mild symptoms, the diagnosis can be missed.

When should you see a doctor for PCOS?

Patients should seek care from a medical provider when they are having symptoms of irregular periods and/or excess body/facial hair, weight gain, or acne.

Consult with an Austin Endocrinologist Today

Dr. Chen says that PCOS is a complex endocrine disease that is associated with several other comorbidities, such as insulin resistance, weight gain, infertility, and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, getting diagnosed as early as possible and having an endocrinologist on your care team is important.

To schedule an appointment with a PCOS specialist in Central Austin, South Austin or Round Rock, call 512-458-8400 or request an appointment online.

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