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PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a prevalent yet often misunderstood condition. Many women never even know about PCOS or realize that they have the condition. Sadly, this condition can increase the potential for health complications, especially when it remains undiagnosed.
This article will help explain what PCOS is and help you identify some of the most common signs of PCOS so you can take your first steps towards getting a correct diagnosis.
What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
PCOS is one of the most common causes of female infertility. It is a complex, chronic condition affecting approximately 6 to 12 percent of women.
What Is the Main Cause of PCOS?
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, one thing is certain — it is not your fault.
However, several factors — including genetics — are widely believed to play a role.
In addition, higher levels of male hormones (androgens), insulin resistance, and low-grade inflammation may also play a role.
Do I Have PCOS?
There are many signs of PCOS, which could be identified through physical, emotional, and behavioral changes. The syndrome is typically diagnosed in women aged 18 to 40 years but can also occur in girls as young as 11 years old.
Some of the significant symptoms to look out for include:
However, the best way to know for sure is by visiting a qualified medical practitioner for a check-up.
Is There a Treatment for PCOS?
There is no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome, but several treatments are available to help manage some of its symptoms. In many cases, treatment will involve both medication and lifestyle changes.
Because the management of PCOS usually involves ongoing treatment and lifestyle changes, it is important to create a personalized plan with a medical professional.
Why Should I Get Treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
PCOS can lead to serious health problems in women who don't receive treatment for their symptoms. The goal of treatment is not only to improve fertility but also to help women with PCOS avoid serious long-term health problems such as:
Can I Get Pregnant if I Have PCOS?
PCOS doesn't mean you can't get pregnant — it just means you might have to work harder to do so. Fortunately, there are plenty of treatments available for women with PCOS. These treatments can help you get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby.
If you have PCOS, your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle modifications to help minimize the impact on your reproductive health and overall well-being. Doctors may also prescribe medications to help manage symptoms.
Having Troubles Getting Pregnant?
If you are struggling to conceive, it may be a sign of an underlying condition like PCOS. A comprehensive infertility evaluation can be performed to help identify what may be contributing to your troubles.
Once you know what is contributing to your infertility challenges, you and your doctor will be able to make a plan.