What are common signs and symptoms of PCOS?
Common signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) include the following:
Irregular menstrual periods—Menstrual disorders can include absent periods, periods that occur infrequently or too frequently, heavy periods, or unpredictable periods.
Infertility—PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
Obesity—As many as 4 in 5 women with PCOS are obese.
Excess hair growth on the face, chest, abdomen, or upper thighs—This condition, called hirsutism, affects more than 7 in 10 women with PCOS.
Severe acne or acne that occurs after adolescence and does not respond to usual treatments
Patches of thickened, velvety, darkened skin called acanthosis nigricans
Multiple small fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries
What causes PCOS?
Although the cause of PCOS is not known, PCOS may be related to many different factors working together. These factors include insulin resistance, increased levels of hormones called androgens, and an irregular menstrual cycle.
What are the health risks for women with PCOS?
PCOS affects all areas of the body, not just the reproductive system. It increases a woman’s risk of serious conditions that may have lifelong consequences.
Insulin resistance increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Another condition that is associated with PCOS is metabolic syndrome. This syndrome contributes to both diabetes and heart disease.
Some women with PCOS develop a condition called endometrial hyperplasia, in which the lining of the uterus becomes too thick. This condition increases the risk of endometrial cancer.
Women with PCOS also may be at higher risk of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. The risk of depression also is higher with PCOS.
Treatment is available and Dr. Gueye can help in diagnosing and treating this condition.