Normal functioning ovaries produce an egg that is released each month as part of a healthy menstrual cycle. With PCOS, however, the egg may not develop as it should, or may not be released during ovulation. This can lead to missed or irregular periods, which, in turn, can lead to infertility or ovarian cysts.
All women are at risk for PCOS, but your risk may be higher if you are obese or have a mother, sister, or aunt with the syndrome. Although the exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, most experts believe that several factors play a role, including genetics, high levels of insulin or androgens (male hormones).
Most women don’t know they have PCOS until they have problems getting pregnant and see their doctor. However, symptoms include:
- Missed or irregular periods
- Excessive hair on the face, chin, or body
- Acne on the face, chest, and upper back
- Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
- Darkening of skin, especially in neck creases, the groin area, or underneath breasts
Although there is no cure for PCOS, we can help diagnose the problem and develop a treatment plan based on your individual symptoms and needs.