Polycystic ovary syndrome involves the accumulation of tiny cysts and hormonal imbalances. All of this can lead to symptoms such as unexplained weight gain and increased facial or body hair. John Judd, MD, provides effective diagnostic and treatment options for PCOS at Midwest Urogynecology in St. Louis, Missouri. To schedule an exam, contact his office or use the online scheduler.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, happens when a woman’s hormones become imbalanced. The ovaries produce more male sex hormones called androgens than normal. PCOS is typically characterized by lots of small cysts that develop on the ovaries. While the cysts aren’t harmful, they cause imbalanced hormones.
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but heredity may play a role. Your body may also have difficulty using the hormone insulin, which can increase your risk for diabetes over time. Having heavy periods also increases its likelihood.
Symptoms of PCOS tend to start out pretty mild then worsen and may include:
If you’re experiencing symptoms that seem related to PCOS, an exam and lab tests can rule out or confirm the diagnosis. The exam can reveal signs of the disorder, such as high blood pressure. Your blood sugar, weight, and hormone levels are checked. Dr. Judd may also order a pelvic ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts.
Treatment for PCOS aims to reduce bothersome symptoms and guard against related long-term health issues. Healthy lifestyle steps can help a great deal and include:
Dr. Judd may also recommend birth control pills or hormone therapy, which can help reduce symptoms of PCOS by regulating your hormones. Fertility medications may help if you’re having trouble getting pregnant. If you’re struggling emotionally, talking to a therapist can bring relief. Until other treatments begin minimizing acne, you can try topical acne medication.
Surgery isn’t the common treatment for PCOS, but it’s sometimes used to help manage related infertility. The procedure improves ovarian function by decreasing the number of tiny cysts.