Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest


By Anonymous October 6, 2009 - 6:51am
Rate This

Add a Comment1 Comments

HERWriter Guide

Dear Anon

Thanks so much for your question. EmpowHer's encyclopedia can answer you much better than I can so let's start there.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic endocrine disorder in women. Characteristics of PCOS are:

◦High levels of male hormones (androgens)
◦Insulin resistance
◦Hair growth on face and body
◦Anovulation—when the ovaries make few or no eggs

Ovaries make follicles that develop into eggs. With PCOS, the ovaries make the follicles, but the eggs do not mature or leave the ovary. The immature follicles can develop into fluid-filled sacs called cysts. Most women with PCOS have cysts, but all women with ovarian cysts do not necessarily have PCOS.

CausesThe cause of PCOS is unknown. Genes may play a role. The problem might be related to insulin resistance with high levels of insulin. These high insulin levels cause too much androgen from the ovaries. This prevents ovulation and leads to enlarged, polycystic ovaries.

Risk FactorsA risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

Risk factors include:

◦Sedentary lifestyle
◦Family members with PCOS
◦Age at onset: 15-30 years old

SymptomsPCOS symptoms vary and can occur in any combination.

Symptoms include:

◦Irregular menstrual periods or no menstrual period (amenorrhea)
◦Hair growth on face and body
◦Weight gain
◦Dark patches of skin on neck, groin, and arm pit.

TreatmentTreatment differs according to whether the patient wishes to conceive or not. Management currently is targeted at the underlying insulin resistance that accompanies PCOS diagnosis.

Treatment includes:

◦Managing symptoms
◦Weight loss if overweight, nutrition consultation
◦Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and prediabetes management
■Use of oral agents such as: Metformin, Glucophage, Actos, Avandia
◦Oral contraceptive
◦Inducing ovulation (if you wish to get pregnant)
■Metformin with or without Clomiphene citrate
■Advanced reproductive technologies
◦Preventing complications
◦Anti-androgenic medications for blocking future hirsutism (unwanted hair growth)

Lifestyle Measures
To lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease:

◦Get regular screenings for diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and fat levels.
◦Exercise regularly.
◦Eat a low-fat diet.
◦Maintain a healthy weight.

Hormonal Therapy
Birth control pills regulate periods. Also, by causing the endometrium (uterine lining) to shed regularly, they reduce the risk of overgrowth or cancer. They also help control abnormal hair growth and acne. Other hormones (called progestins) may also be used to regulate menstruation. They can be used monthly or intermittently. Fertility drugs may be given instead to stimulate ovulation in women who want to become pregnant.
You can read more on our page here : http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/polycystic-ovary-syndrome#definition

Anon, have you been diagnosed with PCOS? Or have you been experiencing symptoms like those listed above?

October 7, 2009 - 12:28pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.