Nearly 5 million women in the U.S. suffer from painful polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), making it the most common hormone abnormality condition in women of childbearing age. PCOS is also the cause of infertility in many women, and recent research has linked it to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Dr. Alqulali counsels and treats many women struggling to understand PCOS and its many life-altering symptoms.
What Is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition caused by the presence of high levels of male hormones such as testosterone. The extra male hormones impact the development of the ovaries and cause them to become enlarged. PCOS also causes tiny cysts to form on the edges of the ovaries.
What Are the Symptoms of PCOS?
Symptoms of the condition range between women, but there are five primary factors that may indicate the presence of PCOS:
1. Infertility or difficulty conceiving. PCOS is a leading cause of infertility. Problems conceiving occur because PCOS disrupts ovulation cycles.
2. Issues with menstruation. Women with PCOS experience erratic menstrual cycles. Other menstrual problems caused by PCOS include very light periods, very heavy periods and spotting between menstrual cycles.
Some women with PCOS suffer from amenorrhea or the absence of menstruation as well.
3. Changes in hair and skin. The extra hormones that cause PCOS also cause the growth of excessive body and facial hair. The condition can also lead to thinning hair and hair loss for others.
These same hormones also make the skin oily and lead to acne.
4. Weight woes. While weight gain alone should not be considered a sign of PCOS, the condition can cause changes in the waistline. Many sufferers experience sudden weight gain that they cannot mitigate with diet and exercise. Women with PCOS tend to gain weight in their midsection and upper body.
5. Diabetes (or pre-diabetes) diagnosis. One of the symptoms of PCOS is diabetes or a pre-diabetes diagnosis. PCOS has a connection to diabetes because it causes insulin resistance, a condition that prevents the body from using insulin properly.
When the body is unable to use insulin correctly, blood sugar goes unchecked. When blood sugar is high for long periods of time, type 2 diabetes may result.
How Is PCOS Treated?
Conventional treatments for PCOS include the use of hormonal birth control to regulate menstruation and hormones to increase fertility. Women with PCOS are also encouraged to follow a healthy diet and get regular exercise.
For women with a diabetes or pre-diabetes diagnosis caused by PCOS, medications and insulin may be required to keep blood sugar under control.
Hair removal and skin-rejuvenating procedures can help treat unwanted hair growth and acne issues.
Want to learn more about PCOS and treatment options? Contact Dr. Alqulali at 888-716-0559.