What is PCOS?
PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common hormone abnormalities of reproductive-aged women. It is characterized by overproduction of the androgen testosterone, menstrual abnormalities when ovulation does not occur and enlarged varies containing multiple small follicles.
Why should I be concerned if my cycles are irregular?
- Irregular periods can lead to infertility. Absence of periods can lead to thickening of the lining of the uterus, which is known as endometrial hyperplasia. Presence of endometrial hyperplasia can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
What are the risks of developing PCOS?
- Typically women who are diagnosed with PCOS often report a family history of a mother or sister with irregular periods or excessive hair growth. At times, excessive weight gain often exposes underlying PCOS.
- Treatment is also individualized. Depending on where the woman is at with her pregnancy plans, oral contraceptive pills are an initial treatment. Birth control can help regulate menstrual cycles and also to help prevent from the lining becoming too thick. Dietary modifications and weight control are also a method of treatment. Insulin resistance places a woman at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease
I have abnormal periods, is this normal?
- It depends on the person! It is normal to sometimes miss a period or have a lighter period (or heavier). However, if periods are less than 21 days or greater than 35 days apart, or an absence of periods for 3-6 months, is considered abnormal. If any of these symptoms pertain to you, you should contact your gynecologist for a visit.