Up to 5 million American women live with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It’s one of the most common hormonal disorders affecting women of reproductive age, and it’s characterized by a combination of symptoms, from elevated male hormone levels to irregular menstrual periods.
The symptoms and complications of PCOS can seriously impact your health and quality of life. Fortunately, PCOS is treatable, and our team at Endocrine Associates of West Village can help.
We specialize in hormonal health and work with women to identify the root cause of their symptoms and develop a treatment plan to improve hormonal balance and overall wellness.
Read on to learn more about the telltale symptoms of PCOS, possible complications, and available treatment options.
Symptoms of PCOS
There’s no single test for PCOS. Instead, healthcare providers review your symptoms, take a medical history, and perform a physical exam and bloodwork to reach a diagnosis.
The symptoms of PCOS can vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women may not experience any symptoms, but most experience at least a few. Common symptoms include:
- Adult acne
- Oily skin
- Irregular periods
- Excessive face or body hair growth
- Weight gain
The hormonal imbalance that comes with PCOS impacts your body’s ability to ovulate. If you don’t ovulate, you may not get your period, and you can’t get pregnant. That’s why many women with PCOS have irregular or nonexistent periods, and many struggle with infertility.
Possible complications of PCOS
Because your hormones influence so many bodily functions, a hormonal imbalance caused by PCOS can lead to several complications, including:
- Pregnancy complications, like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature birth
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Endometrial cancer
Having PCOS can affect your body’s ability to produce and use insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar. Insulin resistance can increase your risk of metabolic syndrome, increasing your risk of diabetes.
Treatment options for PCOS
There’s no cure for PCOS, but treatment helps you manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of complications. If you think you might have PCOS, start by making an appointment with our hormone specialists at Endocrine Associates of West Village.
We offer comprehensive hormone testing to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and review treatment options with you. The best treatment for PCOS depends on your health and your symptoms.
First, introducing healthy lifestyle changes can help balance hormones naturally. We often recommend eating a balanced, nutritious diet and regular physical exercise to improve your symptoms.
Medication is another effective way to rebalance hormones. Hormonal birth control pills can help regulate your menstrual periods and reduce male hormone production. Anti-androgen medications can reduce hair growth and acne.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, infertility treatments can help. Ovulation induction or in vitro fertilization can boost your chances of getting and staying pregnant.
PCOS is extremely common, and while symptoms can seriously impact your health, you don’t have to suffer in silence. Book a consultation at Endocrine Associates of West Village online or call our offices in Long Island City and New York, New York, to start getting the care you deserve.