Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS, a hormonal disorder in childbearing women, is more than just cysts. Often emerging silently during puberty, its complexities include genetic factors. Need PCOS advice? Nuvance Health is here to help.

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What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common in women of reproductive age, affecting the ovaries which produce eggs. Women with PCOS often have multiple fluid-filled cysts on their ovaries, which can cause hormonal disruptions, although cyst presence doesn't confirm PCOS. 

The condition typically emerges around puberty and may not show clear symptoms until adulthood. While its exact cause is unclear, genetics, insulin resistance and environmental factors are potential contributors. Some women realize they have PCOS when facing fertility issues.

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What are the symptoms of PCOS?

The symptoms of PCOS can range from mild to severe and often depend on the individual. Common symptoms include:

  • Menstrual irregularities, like missed, infrequent or prolonged periods
  • Excessive facial and body hair growth, known as hirsutism
  • Acne, oily skin and dandruff
  • Weight gain, especially around the waist
  • Thinning hair or hair loss from the scalp
  • Darkening of the skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin and underneath the breasts
  • Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
Additionally, women with PCOS may experience fertility issues due to ovulatory dysfunction.
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What are the treatment options for PCOS?

The treatment for PCOS is tailored to each individual's symptoms and whether they are considering pregnancy. Treatment options include:

  • Lifestyle changes: Weight management through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help alleviate PCOS symptoms. This is particularly beneficial for those with insulin resistance.
  • Hormonal birth control: Pills, patches or rings that combine estrogen and progestin can regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce androgen production.
  • Metformin: Often used to treat type 2 diabetes, it can improve insulin sensitivity and help improve fertility.
  • Medications for increased hair growth and acne: These can reduce excessive hair growth and acne.
  • Fertility treatments: For those wanting to conceive, medications can be prescribed to stimulate ovulation.
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What are complications and long-term health risks associated with PCOS?

If untreated, PCOS can lead to various complications. These include:

  • Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance
  • High blood pressure and other cardiovascular issues
  • Sleep apnea
  • Endometrial hyperplasia or endometrial cancer
  • Issues during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia
  • Depression or anxiety

Women with PCOS also have a higher risk of miscarriage compared to those without the syndrome.

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Why Choose Us?

Your trusted partner in PCOS care.

Navigating PCOS can feel isolating, but at Nuvance Health®, we intimately understand your struggles. Our tailored approach not only addresses the physical complexities of PCOS but also provides a supportive environment where you're heard, understood and cared for. Together, let's embrace and empower your PCOS journey. Are you ready to take the next step?

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