If you are suspecting polycystic ovarian syndrome, these are the ten most common PCOS symptoms. Did you know you can talk to an online PCOS doctor and get PCOS treatment?
A polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common medical condition that can affect your fertility and overall health. In many cases, women are affected by PCOS and don’t even know it.
It is important for your overall health and wellness to be on the lookout for PCOS symptoms and to chat with an online PCOS doctor, if needed. The following may help you decide if you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or signs of PCOS.
What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder among women in their childbearing years. While PCOS is often associated with infertility, it can affect girls as young as 11 years old.
It is actually the leading cause of infertility among women. PCOS affects around 10 % of the female population; one study suggested the actual number may be closer to 24%.
PCOS affects their overall health and causes unpleasant symptoms. It is important to have PCOS online consultation for screening, even if they do not plan on becoming pregnant.
PCOS is caused by a hormone imbalance. A larger amount of male hormones within the female body can disrupt the delicate balance necessary for normal female reproductive cycles.
When a woman has PCOS, a large amount of androgen testosterone is produced. PCOS affects the ovaries that are responsible for producing eggs.
The ovaries are also responsible for producing estrogen and progesterone. These two regulate the menstrual cycle. They also normally produce a small amount of androgen, which is the male hormone.
Changes to the Ovaries
PCOS causes the ovaries to overproduce androgens. This can cause the eggs to only be released sporadically or not at all. When the egg fails to release, women don’t get their monthly periods and are unable to get pregnant. With PCOS, a woman can skip her period for months at a time. Ovulation can be spontaneous. This makes it very difficult to conceive.
The reason that the ovaries fail to produce an egg is that they don’t fully mature. This is because the hormone imbalance causes the ovaries to become filled with fluid-rich sacs. In fact, Polycystic literally means many cysts.
While the name may indicate many cysts, sacs are actually follicles that contain immature eggs. These eggs are not able to develop enough to trigger ovulation.
Without regular ovulation, there is an imbalance in levels of estrogen and progesterone. Along with these hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone and the luteinizing hormone (both of which control ovulation) are affected.
Is There a Cure for PCOS?
There is no cure for this serious women’s health issue, but medications and improved lifestyle could decrease PCOS symptoms resulting in an increase in chances of fertility. As common as this condition is, many more women have PCOS and do not know it. One study estimated about 70 % of women who have PCOS are undiagnosed.
This hormonal imbalance can cause adverse effects on your overall health and may become the cause of health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Along with getting PCOS treatment online from our doctors, there are many natural approaches to treating PCOS symptoms.
Common Symptoms of PCOS
1: Irregular Menstrual Cycles
A normal menstrual cycle is the body’s way of preparing itself for a potential pregnancy. Each cycle consists of ovulation and menstruation. An egg or eggs are released from the ovaries during ovulation and travel through the fallopian tubes for potential insemination. If the egg becomes inseminated by a male partner, it may implant into the uterus to further develop into an embryo, fetus, and baby.
If the egg is not inseminated or fails to implant, it is expelled along with the uterus lining through the vagina as a period.
The first day of bleeding during your cycle is day one. Normal periods can last about 3-5 days but may be shorter or longer depending on your body’s natural rhythm.
With PCOS, the absence of a period is one of the three main symptoms of this condition. This is because the imbalance of hormones within the body makes it difficult for eggs to develop enough to get released. Ovulation is often spontaneous and irregular. In some cases, PCOS may prolong your monthly period.
One way to know if your cycle is irregular is to track it. Keeping track of your monthly cycle is an easy way to know when to expect your period. It can also help you to know when you are ovulating and provide important information to your doctor about irregular menstrual cycles.
2: Persistent Adult Acne
While many women (and men!) may suffer from adult acne, they may not recognize it as a symptom of PCOS.
PCOS may be more commonly associated with fertility issues, and it can also cause a whole host of symptoms associated with your appearance.
The imbalance of hormones within the body can cause sudden and severe acne breakouts. If you have been struggling with adult acne that does not respond to traditional treatments, you may want to chat with an online PCOS doctor.
3: Absence of a Period
In addition to irregular menstrual cycles, PCOS can also cause your period to stop completely. The absence of a period is known as amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is when the woman has never experienced a period. Secondary amenorrhea is when the woman has had normal periods in the past but no longer experiences menses.
PCOS can cause amenorrhea because the hormone imbalance in the body causes the ovaries to become full of follicles. These follicles do not allow the eggs to fully mature and release to cause ovulation.
Without regular ovulation, many women are not able to get pregnant without intervention. We offer PCOS treatment online to help treat amenorrhea.
4: Excess Hair Growth in Odd Places
An excess of the body or facial hair can be a difficult task for anyone to overcome, but it can be especially difficult for women in many areas of the world. Women spend lots of time, energy, and money to be as hair-free as possible.
Unfortunately, due to the hormonal imbalance that causes PCOS, women afflicted with this condition could find themselves with extra hair popping up on their face and body. This can include excessive hair growth on your upper lip, chin, and other odd places you normally don’t see hair growth.
These symptoms can adversely affect your self-esteem and body image. While there is no cure for PCOS, there are ways to treat the symptoms. Connect with an online PCOS doctor for treatment from the comfort of your home.
5: Hair Loss
While you may suddenly be sporting a mustache on your upper lip, you may also notice that you are losing hair in other places. Women with PCOS may notice hair on the pillow, excess hair loss in the shower or after brushing.
Women with PCOS can often experience thinning hair and even bald patches. This is because while an excess of male hormones can cause hair growth in other areas, it also negatively affects the scalp.
6: Fertility Issues
Getting pregnant with PCOS is a challenge, and if you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant and can’t, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome could be to blame.
PCOS can cause menstrual cycles to become irregular. Women can go for months without a menstrual cycle. Spontaneous ovulation makes it difficult for couples to take advantage of fertile windows.
PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder among women in their childbearing years. Many women are affected and don’t even know it. If you are concerned about your fertility, connect with an online PCOS doctor.
7: Issues with Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Are you struggling to lose weight? Between 40 and 80% of women who suffer from PCOS were reported to be overweight or obese.
Obesity is common in people with hormone issues. This is because the hormones in our body determine our appetite, metabolism and fat distribution. When you are obese, your hormone levels will also encourage the accumulation of body fat.
Obesity is a major cause of insulin resistance. Obesity combined with insulin resistance greatly increases the likelihood of developing type 2 Diabetes.
8: Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance
This PCOS symptom baffles even doctors. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can lead to insulin resistance, which will cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Although the exact reason is unknown, up to 70 % of women with PCOS also have insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells are unable to produce insulin properly. The pancreas produces insulin to help your body absorb sugar from food. When this is not absorbed properly, it increases the demand for insulin in the body. Overproduction of insulin causes a spike in the production of male hormones.
If you are healthy but are showing symptoms of diabetes or pre-diabetic symptoms, you may have PCOS. Ignoring these symptoms could cause full-blown diabetes. It is important to connect with an online PCOS doctor to monitor your health proactively.
9: Skin Discoloration and Skin Tags
It is important to pay close attention to any changes in the skin. While most are concerned with the possibility of skin cancer, PCOS can also show skin symptoms.
These symptoms are secondary, meaning that they are caused by insulin resistance rather than the PCOS itself. Since so many women are unaware they are even suffering from PCOS (about 70 % of women who have PCOS are undiagnosed), it is important to recognize all the possible signs and symptoms.
Acanthosis nigricans results from spikes in insulin resistance. The skin can become discoloured in the folds appearing on the forehead, breast, neck, thighs and groin.
Skin tags are also associated with PCOS. While skin tags may not be dangerous on their own, they can be a signal that something is going on much deeper within the body. Please talk to a doctor to get PCOS treatment online.
10: Mental Health Issues
PCOS does not only affect your physical health, but it can also have a negative impact on your mental health as well.
Fertility issues can put a lot of stress on your relationship, both emotionally and financially.
The physical symptoms associated with PCOS can cause a severe dip in self-esteem and may cause depression.
If you are suffering from PCOS you may want to consider speaking to a mental health professional alongside an online PCOS doctor to safeguard your mental health.
How can PCOS cause acne and hirsutism?
In the case of PCOS, androgen levels in the body are usually high. Consequently, this leads to excess sebum production by the skin, worsening acne. Androgens on the skin can also cause increased facial hair growth, known as hirsutism.
If you aren’t planning to become pregnant, treatments options include:
- Hormonal birth control: These include pills, shots, patches, a vaginal ring or an intrauterine device (IUD). Hormonal birth control helps to regulate your cycle.
- Insulin-sensitizing medicine: Metformin is commonly used to treat diabetes. It helps regulate insulin levels. Once insulin is regulated, improvement in menstrual cycles and PCOS symptoms can be observed.
- Medications that block androgens: Certain medications can block the effect of androgens. Resultantly, these help control acne or hirsutism.
- Lifestyle changes: Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight can, in turn, affect your insulin levels.
If you plan to get pregnant now or in the future, treatment for PCOS includes:
- Drugs to induce ovulation: For a successful pregnancy, ovulation is required. Certain medications, including clomiphene and letrozole, have been proven to help with ovulation. These are taken orally, while gonadotropins are given by injection.
- Surgery: A surgical procedure may help restore ovulation by removing tissue in your ovaries that produces androgen hormones.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): This is an option for people with PCOS when medication doesn’t help induce ovulation. Your egg is fertilzed with your partner’s sperm in a lab before transferring it to your uterus.
Risks for PCOS
Research indicates that PCOS may raise your risk for health conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular disease.
- Endometrial hyperplasia.
- Endometrial cancer.
- Sleep disorders.
When to Consult a Doctor for PCOS?
While there is no cure for PCOS, there are many interventions that can help ease your symptoms.
With Your Doctors Online, you can connect with a real North American doctor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Don’t suffer in silence for one more minute and get PCOS treatment online. Experience the expertise of our team of knowledgeable and caring healthcare professionals.
FAQs About PCOS Answered by Your Doctors Online Team
It is possible to have PCOS without having the typical symptoms that are present as a part of the syndrome. It may also be possible to have PCOS without having multiple cysts in the ovary.
It is clinically proven that first-trimester miscarriage in women with PCOS is higher as compared to those who do not have PCOS.
Eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly and managing a healthy weight may help you avoid the effects of PCOS.