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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a syndrome with some hormonal abnormalities which may cause irregular cycles, difficulty getting pregnant, abnormal hair growth, and gaining weight. In a nutshell, women with PCOS produce an excess amount of male hormones and insulin. They are especially at lifelong risk of diabetes as well as other serious health problems. Ironically, not all of the women with PCOS have polycystic ovaries, and not all of women with polycystic ovaries have PCOS! Diagnosis usually is made by history and physical exam. Your doctor may order some lab tests and a pelvic ultrasound as well. Treatment depends on the symptoms and whether a woman wants to become pregnant. Long-term treatment may be needed to help prevent endometrial cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The most commonly used medications in PCOS include progesterone and birth control pills.  If you have PCOS, changes in your lifestyle like daily exercise will improve your health. Lowering your weight will help with ovulation and menstrual regularity. It also slows the abnormal hair growth. There are multiple medications available to treat the abnormal hair growth. Other options such as electrolysis may also be considered. With proper treatment, PCOS can be managed and your symptoms can be relieved. You should have long-term health care to look for disorders that may arise.


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Nezhat Solimani, MD
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