While it may not be as commonly talked about as yeast infections, UTIs, or endometriosis, it’s a fact that polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is just as much a concern to a woman’s reproductive health as these more widely known conditions. That’s why it’s so important for women to be educated on the subject and aware of their risk of developing PCOS. In order to help spread awareness, our reproductive healthcare providers wanted to answer a few commonly asked questions about this common reproductive condition.
Question #1: What are the common symptoms of PCOS?
Unfortunately, many women who have developed PCOS do not experience any noticeable symptoms. In fact, according to the PCOS Foundation, less than half of women in the US with PCOS are ever diagnosed. However, some potential symptoms to look out for include irregular menstrual bleeding, difficulty getting pregnant, thinning hair, excess hair growth on the face, chest, and abdomen, and sudden weight gain.
Question #2: How do you test for PCOS?
Although there is no definitive screening test for PCOS, that doesn’t mean that our experts cannot detect and diagnose this condition. The first step is performing a pelvic exam to check for any signs of ovarian enlargement. We may also perform blood testing to check for abnormal hormone activity that is often associated with PCOS. In some cases, we may choose to perform an ultrasound to gain a clearer picture of a woman’s ovarian health as well as the state of the uterine lining.
Question #3: What are the non-reproductive effects of PCOS?
It’s true that in addition to causing reproductive concerns like irregular bleeding and fertility problems, PCOS can also affect a woman’s overall health and wellness. PCOS can increase a woman’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, liver problems, and potential pregnancy complications including miscarriage.
Here at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, our reproductive healthcare providers have extensive experience working with our patients to diagnose and effectively treat PCOS. We understand that every woman’s needs and preferences are different and we take the time to develop the most helpful and appropriate treatment plan for every unique individual we see. For more information on PCOS or to request an appointment with one of our board-certified gynecologists or licensed nurse practitioners, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett. And follow us on Facebook or check our medical spa MadEmEl Medical Aesthetics on Instagram for additional news, tips, and much more.