Understanding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

What is PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, and acne. PCOS can also cause weight gain, fertility problems, and other health problems.

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Symptoms of PCOS

The symptoms of PCOS vary from woman to woman. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Excess hair growth, especially on the face, chest, and back (hirsutism)
  • Acne
  • Weight gain, especially around the belly (abdomen)
  • Infertility
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Diagnosis of PCOS

There is no single test for PCOS. The diagnosis is made based on a woman's symptoms and the results of a physical exam and blood tests. The blood tests that are typically done to diagnose PCOS include:

  • FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone)
  • LH (luteinizing hormone)
  • Testosterone
  • DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate)
  • A1C (blood sugar level)
  • Fasting insulin

Associated health risks of PCOS

PCOS can increase the risk of a number of health problems, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometriosis

Management of PCOS

There is no cure for PCOS, but the symptoms can be managed. The goal of treatment is to improve the woman's quality of life and reduce her risk of developing health problems.

The treatment for PCOS depends on the woman's individual symptoms and needs. Some of the treatments that may be used include:

  • Medications: There are a number of medications that can be used to treat the symptoms of PCOS, such as birth control pills, metformin, and spironolactone.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, custom diet plans and exercise plans, can also help to manage the symptoms of PCOS.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be an option to remove the cysts on the ovaries.

Beaconhealth Diagnostics

Beaconhealth Diagnostics is a leading provider of diagnostic testing services. We offer a comprehensive range of tests for PCOS, including hormonal tests, lab tests, and ultrasound. Our team of experts can help you understand your results and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.

To learn more about PCOS or to schedule an appointment with a Beaconhealth Diagnostics provider, please visit our website or call us today.