All About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

If you have irregular menstrual cycles or are dealing with infertility, it may be due to an underlying condition known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

As an experienced gynecologist, Sowmya Reddy, MD, FACOG understands the impact PCOS can have on your physical health, your mental well-being, and your plans for family. Dr. Reddy offers comprehensive treatment plans for PCOS that focus on your unique needs.

Understanding polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that results from an imbalance in your reproductive hormones. When your hormones aren’t balanced, it can affect the function of your ovaries, the organs that make and release an egg every month during your menstrual cycle.

Dysfunction in your ovaries can lead to a variety of symptoms and increase your risk for infertility, the inability to get pregnant. While there’s no clear understanding of what causes PCOS to affect women in their childbearing years, it’s possible that your genetic history plays a role.

Women with PCOS may also develop the condition due to having higher levels of male androgen hormones or higher levels of insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar levels in your bloodstream.

Symptoms of PCOS to watch for

A hallmark symptom of PCOS is an irregular menstrual cycle. You may miss several periods, stop having periods altogether, or have fewer than eight periods throughout the year. PCOS can also affect the frequency of your periods, with many women having periods every 21 days or more often.

Other common issues associated with PCOS include:

PCOS can also cause your hair to become thinner on your scalp, similar to male-pattern baldness. High levels of androgens can also cause hair to grow on your face, chest, and other areas where men traditionally have hair.

Women with PCOS are also likely to develop ovarian cysts, fluid-filled sacs in your ovaries. Having PCOS may increase your risk for serious health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

When to seek treatment for PCOS

Any time you have changes to your usual menstrual cycle you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Alpha OBGYN. Early intervention can confirm PCOS and help you manage the condition more effectively. It also gives Dr. Reddy the opportunity to rule out more serious conditions affecting your reproductive health.

While there’s no cure for PCOS, Dr. Reddy works with you through a customized care plan to better manage your symptoms and reduce your risk for long-term health complications. Your treatment may involve:

Weight loss guidance

Losing weight can have a significant impact on the severity of your PCOS symptoms. Dr. Reddy offers resources to help you incorporate more exercise into your daily life and improve your overall diet. 

By losing just 5% of your excess weight, you can better manage your symptoms.

Hormone therapy

Hormone therapy using low-dose birth control pills and other medications is effective for many women in the management of PCOS symptoms. 

Taking these medications rebalance your reproductive hormone levels to regulate your periods, stop excess hair growth, and improve your ovulation cycle.

Fertility treatments

If you’ve been trying to conceive a child without success, Dr. Reddy can create a fertility treatment plan to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.

Treatments for infertility may include medications or in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process of fertilization that involves extracting eggs and combining them with sperm outside of your body. Resulting embryos can then be transferred into your uterus.

If cysts or other obstructions in your ovaries are causing fertility issues, you may need minimally invasive surgery to repair it. Dr. Reddy can determine if you’re a candidate for surgery by evaluating your medical history and your current health.

To learn more about treatments available for PCOS, schedule a diagnostic evaluation by calling Alpha OBGYN or by requesting an appointment online today.

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