Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS Accent Photo

One in 10 women of childbearing age in the United States is dealing with the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). At Reflections OB/GYN in the Viera area of Melbourne, Florida, nurse practitioners, Alison Badders APRN, and Laura Burgess FNP-BC, along with Mark Sargent, MD, MBA, FACOG, diagnose and treat PCOS using customized treatment plans tailored to your needs. If you have irregular periods, excess facial hair, or other symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, call Reflections OB/GYN today or request an evaluation online now.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Q&A

What is polycystic ovary syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition that develops due to a hormonal disorder that causes irregular periods and excessively high levels of the male androgen hormone. The abnormal hormone levels cause ovaries to collect fluid and fail to release eggs.

There’s no clear understanding of the cause of PCOS. However, the condition affects women in their reproductive years, and having excess insulin or a family history of PCOS may play a role in your risk.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms of PCOS can develop as early as your first menstrual cycle in puberty and continue to worsen as you get older. You should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Reflections OB/GYN if you have:

  • Severe acne
  • Irregular periods
  • Male-pattern baldness
  • Excess facial or body hair

If you’re obese, your symptoms of PCOS may be more severe.

You should also consult with Dr. Sargent if you have difficulties getting pregnant after several months of unprotected sex, as untreated PCOS can lead to infertility or miscarriages.

What tests diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome?

There’s no specific test that confirms polycystic ovary syndrome. Your Reflections OB/GYN provider begins your evaluation by reviewing your personal and family medical history. They also perform a pelvic exam to check for abnormal growths or masses.

Ultrasound imaging gives your provider an up-close image of your ovaries to identify signs of enlargement.

To check your androgen levels, the Reflections OB/GYN team will order the appropriate laboratory tests. They may also use blood work to check your insulin levels.

Once they confirm your PCOS diagnosis, your Reflections OB/GYN provider customizes a care plan to relieve symptoms and prevent long-term health complications, like infertility, diabetes, sleep apnea, and endometrial cancer.

What’s the treatment for PCOS?

Initially, the Reflections OB/GYN team may recommend lifestyle changes to relieve your symptoms of PCOS. This may include incorporating healthy, fresh foods into your diet and getting daily exercise to help you maintain a healthy body weight.

If you can tolerate hormones, you may benefit from birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin to decrease androgen production, address excessive hair growth and acne, and regulate your periods. Progestin hormone therapy can also regulate your periods.

If you have symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, don’t delay a diagnostic evaluation. You can call Reflections OB/GYN today or request an appointment online now.