Caused by a hormone imbalance, polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a common condition that affects your ovaries. PCOS can inhibit your body’s ability to develop eggs or impede their ability to be released during ovulation. It’s a cause of infertility for many women, but it is treatable — a diagnosis does not mean that you’re unable to become pregnant.
While the root cause of PCOS is unknown, there are several factors that lead to its development. Some women with PCOS produce too many androgens, or male hormones. Your body naturally produces these in small amounts, but too many of them can prevent you from ovulating. Other women with PCOS produce higher-than-normal levels of insulin or are insulin-resistant. Insulin controls your body’s ability to convert food into energy, and these higher levels can develop into type 2 diabetes if left untreated.
Along with the inability to ovulate, PCOS can manifest with several more observable symptoms. A few symptoms that can indicate PCOS are:
If you’ve noticed several of these symptoms, you should talk to your provider about getting tested for PCOS. Taking steps to treat PCOS will result in the eventual decline of these symptoms.
If you have polycystic ovary syndrome, there are several treatment options available. Even if you don’t plan on getting pregnant, taking steps to treat your PCOS will allow you to get rid of the physical symptoms that can take a toll on your self-esteem and help you to avoid the potential of developing endometrial cancer later on.
Hormonal birth control methods, such as the pill, the IUD, and the patch can help treat PCOS and the symptoms that come with it as they work to regulate your hormones. However, if you’re trying to get pregnant, there are treatment options that are not birth control, too. These include:
These treatments can promote pregnancy while, in turn, treating your case of PCOS.
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant due to polycystic ovarian syndrome, or if you’d like to get rid of the physical symptoms that come with the condition, call or schedule an appointment online with the team at Southern Women's Specialists Gynecology and Urogynecology in Fairhope, Alabama, to develop a personalized course of action.
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