Mar 30

PCOS Symptoms

Posted on March 30, 2020 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

Female reproductive systemPolycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS is estimated to effect between five and 10 percent of women in their childbearing years. This condition is the result of a hormonal imbalance. PCOS disrupts the development of follicles and makes it more difficult for women to conceive.

PCOS can cause infertility problems for our San Antonio, TX, patients, but there are other symptoms that women may develop as well. At the Fertility Center of San Antonio, our doctors help patients recognize common PCOS symptoms so that they know when it may be time to seek treatment.

Irregular Periods

Irregular periods are the most common symptom of PCOS. Because PCOS disrupts follicular development, eggs may not develop to maturity, or be released during ovulation as intended. For many women with PCOS, the menstrual cycle is completely unpredictable. Women may experience unusually long periods, very short periods, or they may have long gaps between periods. Finally, there are some women who do not have a period at all.

Women with irregular periods should discuss their cycle with their doctor. PCOS is one of many conditions that could disrupt the menstrual cycle and compromise fertility.

Acne

Acne is largely caused by hormones. The reason that acne is so common among teens is because their body is going through significant hormonal changes. Many women find that they have breakouts during their period for the same reason. Acne around the time of a period is normal, but if a woman has excessively oily skin or is consistently dealing with acne, it could indicate a hormonal imbalance related to PCOS.

Excessive Hair Growth

Many women struggle to grow long, thick hair, so excessive hair growth may initially sound like a perk of PCOS. Unfortunately, the hair growth that effects many women with PCOS is more commonly related to males. Women may notice that they have excessive growth or thicker hair on their face, chest, back, or buttocks. PCOS often is linked to high levels of androgens, or male hormones, which primarily accounts for the extra hair growth that many PCOS patients experience.

Thinning Hair

The effect that PCOS has on the hair of the scalp does not tend to be positive. Women with PCOS often have thinner and oilier hair. Hair loss is another potential concern. Again, hair loss and thinning are the result of hormonal imbalances. With PCOS treatment, women should see an improvement in the condition of their hair.

Weight Gain

Some women with PCOS have a hard time keeping their weight under control. They may notice that even though they follow a healthy diet and exercise routine, they put on a few extra pounds. If weight gain is consistent and has no other apparent cause, it is important to talk to a doctor about PCOS or other medical conditions that may be contributing to the weight gain.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are experiencing potential symptoms of PCOS, you can discuss your concerns with the experienced team of doctors at the Fertility Center of San Antonio. We can diagnose PCOS and offer treatments to restore hormonal balance and alleviate PCOS symptoms. Call (210) 692-0577 to schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience.

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