POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME
Do you have irregular periods? There are several reasons for missing periods, but one of the most common reasons is PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Symptoms of PCOS include:
- Missing periods (usually having less than 9 periods per year)
- Excess testosterone on blood work or on exam (excess hair growth, acne)
- Ovarian cysts
PCOS is a diagnosis of exclusion so other diseases like thyroid or other hormone problems should be ruled out before making the diagnosis of PCOS. The diagnosis is based on symptoms, laboratory findings, and sometimes imaging studies.
The risk of having PCOS is that it can be associated with diabetes or insulin resistance, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, weight issues, uterine cancer, infertility, and sleep apnea.
The cause of PCOS is unknown and treatment involves controlling the symptoms. A healthy lifestyle with weight loss can oftentimes improve symptoms and prevent associated medical complications. Birth control pills are typically used to help regulate periods and can sometimes decrease facial hair or acne. Metformin is another medication that is typically used to help control
When a woman has regular periods, this is a good indication that her hormones are appropriate.
You should let your healthcare provider know if you have irregular periods or excess hair growth or acne in order to do a proper evaluation.
The following references:
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