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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Facts

Find knowledge with polycystic ovary syndrome facts

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a reproductive endocrine disorder that affects approximately 5-10% of reproductive age women. While years of research have tried to determine the cause of this syndrome, it continues to remain an enigma. To our best knowledge right now, PCOS may involve genetics, environmental factors, and fetal and childhood exposures. There are the polycystic ovary syndrome facts.

PCOS can have a wide spectrum of manifestations and symptoms. However, the common features are menstrual irregularity, increased male hormone levels and a cysts on the ovaries. While many women with PCOS are obese, thin women can have PCOS as well.

What are the effects of PCOS on fertility?

Many women with PCOS suffer from infertility due to the chronic lack of ovulation. If a woman is not having regular periods then she is likely not ovulating on a regular basis. Due to the chronic anovulation, intercourse can be difficult to time and pregnancy hard to achieve.

Treatment for infertility here involves the use of medications such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid), which help induce ovulation. Most pregnancies achieved with Clomid occur within 3-4 cycles. If you are not successful by that time then it would be prudent to seek care from a reproductive endocrinologist. If you are already seeing one, then it makes sense to move on to more aggressive treatment.

Polycystic ovary syndrome facts – What are the long-term effects of PCOS?

PCOS is an endocrine disorder associated with insulin resistance. As such, women can develop diabetes and coronary artery disease. It is important for women with PCOS to have testing for glucose and lipid levels at least once every two years.

Often women with glucose intolerance can benefit from medications such as Metformim . Metabolic syndrome involves high triglyceride levels, abnormal glucose levels, hypertension, and an increased waist to hip ratio. It can have significant cardiovascular effects and is important to look for. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight is very important to slow or prevent these problems.

Another important aspect of chronic anovulation is its effect on the lining of the uterus. If a woman goes for long periods of time without having menses, then she can be prone to developing hyperplasia (precancerous abnormal growth) of the endometrium. This significantly raises her risk of developing endometrial cancer. For this reason, it is important to protect the endometrium either by using a progesterone containing contraceptive or by inducing a period every couple of months by taking a course of Provera or other such progesterone.

Ultimately, while PCOS is a disorder that has no definitive cure, many of its manifestions can be controlled with the right lifestyle modifications, medications and of course fertility treatments in those desiring pregnancy. Contact us to learn more polycystic ovary syndrome facts.

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