PCOS can lead to infertility problems secondary to failure of ovulation and PCOS can be associated with raised insulin resistance and obesity leading to an increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease in later life There are currently no cures for PCOS, but treatments are available to help manage symptoms and prevent further health problems.
Common symptoms of PCOS.
The severity of symptoms can be hugely variable and if severe can cause emotional distress. Common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular periods which can be abnormally heavy
- Periods either more than 38 days or less than 24 days apart
- Excess body hair – including the back, chest and stomach
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Periods have stopped completely
- Acne or oily skin
- Difficulty getting pregnant
Causes of PCOS.
There is no known cause of PCOS, but many women with PCOS have insulin resistance. This means insulin levels build up in the body, causing higher androgen levels. Obesity can increase insulin levels, making PCOS symptoms worse.
PCOS also has a possible genetic cause, as it often affects sisters or mothers and their daughters. Also, those in certain ethnic groups are at higher risk of getting PCOS.
It is crucial to seek a confirmed diagnosis of PCOS from an expert if you are experiencing any symptoms as soon as possible as early treatment can help with fertility and other health complications.
PCOS is diagnosed in the presence of two of the following:
- Irregular periods
- High levels of male hormones
- Polycystic ovaries on ultrasound
How can we help?
Consultant gynaecologist Miss Amanda Tozer at Aria Fertility is an expert in general gynaecology and women’s health. She has a broad knowledge of menstrual disorders, including endometriosis, PCOS and fibroids. She will investigate symptoms with a physical exam and will carry out a complete medical history check.
She will be able to perform ultrasound imaging to check for ‘cysts’ in the ovaries. You may also need a blood test to check your hormone and blood insulin levels.
Miss Amanda Tozer will be able to offer advice on potential treatments depending upon your symptoms and needs including lifestyle advice, supplements, hormonal control and possible fertility treatments.