Do I Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome? 10 Common PCOS Symptoms

Last updated: August 22, 2021


Contributed by:
Richard Honaker M.D.
Primary Care Physician
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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?

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.

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 online consultation

Hormone Imbalance

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. Check out these ten common symptoms. 

PCOS treatment online

PCOS Symptom 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.

PCOS Symptom 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.online PCOS doctor

PCOS Symptom 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.

PCOS Symptom 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. 

PCOS Symptom 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. 

PCOS Symptom 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

PCOS Symptom 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. 

PCOS chat

PCOS Symptom 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. 

PCOS Symptom 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.

PCOS Symptom 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. 

What Can do PCOS online consultation?

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. 

Connect today for PCOS online consultation

Pcos symptoms diagnosis

 

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

About Richard Honaker M.D.

Dr. Richard Honaker has over 40 years of experience as a primary care physician specializing in several different areas of medicine. He is able to provide expert case review and analysis for insurance and workers compensation cases as well as providing online medical consultations as the Chief Medical Advisor for Your Doctors Online.


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