ZocdocAnswersWhat is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

Question

What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?

What is polycystic ovary syndrome, and how dangerous is it? I am having symptoms I am told are ""classic"" symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Sydrome, and I am going in for a doctor's appointment tomorrow to get an ultrasound. If I do, in fact, have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, what does this mean for my health? How dangerous is it?

Answer

This is the type of health problem which can be dealt with by your primary care physician or OBGYN, whomever you are most comfortable with. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) comprises several features. 1. Overweight, 2. irregular menstruation with anovulation (don't ovulate regularly) 3. difficulty getting pregnant, 4. excess androgens causing hair growth on the face (known as hirsutism) and acne, 5. insulin resistant diabetes. The cysts that are in the ovaries are often seen, but are not actually needed to have polycystic ovarian syndrome (I know that makes no sense). PCOS cannot be cured, but it can be treated. The treatment is complex and will need an extensive discussion with your doctor. The general focus is 1. weight loss, 2. control of blood sugars, 3. menstrual and hormonal regularity with oral contraceptives. If pregnancy is desired and you are having trouble getting pregnant, a consultation with at fertility specialist is helpful. PCOS can be dangerous if the diabetes and weight are not controlled. I imagine you will receive this answer after your appointment with your doctor. Hopefully I was able to give you additional information you can use, or perhaps provide you with questions you can ask your doctor at your next visit. Good luck.

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