Causes - PCOS - Symptoms

Living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and getting pregnant is challenging because your body doesn’t produce the hormones necessary for regular ovulation. In this section, we review the primary symptoms of PCOS.

Common PCOS symptoms
PCOS can be diagnosed by a combination of clinical, laboratory and ultrasound findings. PCOS diagnostic criteria includes 2 of the following 3 symptoms:

  • Chronic anovulation
  • Chronic hyperandrogenism (hirsutism and/or acne)
  • Polycystic appearing ovaries on ultrasound

Additional symptoms of PCOS may include:

  • Obesity
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Infertility and miscarriage

PCOS and weight
Many people think that you must be overweight to have PCOS. However, some lean and athletic woman have PCOS, too. Whether you are overweight or not, if you have PCOS you may face a higher risk for pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.

Diagnosing PCOS
To make an accurate PCOS diagnosis, your doctor will do a physical examination and take your personal medical history. In addition, your doctor will check for physical symptoms and run some labs. Your doctor may check for insulin resistance with a glucose tolerance test with insulin levels. Ultrasound of the abdomen is another common diagnostic tool in almost all women who may have PCOS.

Treatment is available
With such a large number of different symptoms, experts agree that no two women with PCOS are exactly alike. As a result, individualized care is critical to help women with PCOS manage their symptoms and get pregnant. The good news is that the fewer symptoms you have for polycystic ovary syndrome, the greater your response should be to PCOS medication and treatment.

If you have a mild case of PCOS, your chances of conceiving and having a baby may be quite high. If you have a more severe form of PCOS, you may still be able to get pregnant and have children. Discuss your health concerns with your doctor and find out how to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

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