What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of women of childbearing age have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Approximately five million women in the United States may be affected. Although PCOS is usually diagnosed in women in their twenties and thirties, girls as young as eleven can potentially develop the symptoms.
If a woman has PCOS, her ovaries are enlarged and her unbalanced hormones cause small cysts to grow on her ovaries, and while these cysts are not cancerous, they can be painful during ovulation or even cause irregular periods. If left untreated, PCOS can lead to diabetes and heart disease. At Viva Eve, our doctors are PCOS specialists NYC and can help diagnose whether you have the syndrome and help treat it.
PCOS makes it more difficult for women to get pregnant. The untimely cessation of ovulation leads to PCOS and pregnancy issues. However, the experts at Viva Eve offer polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment NYC.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
The symptoms of PCOS are usually quite pronounced:
- Very oily skin, acne, extra body hair, thinning hair on the scalp
- Weight gain or trouble losing weight due to metabolism issues
- Irregular periods that can be heavy, fewer than nine in a year or they may cease altogether
- Fertility problems
- Pelvic pain
- Depression, anxiety, or eating disorders
- Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — severe liver inflammation due to fat accumulation
- Metabolic syndrome — increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels that significantly increase your chance of cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes — PCOS and diabetes sometimes go hand-in-hand
- High levels of androgen and insulin resistance, even after menopause
- Sleep apnea
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Endometrial hyperplasia (thickened uterine lining)
- Cancer of the uterine lining
What Causes PCOS?
How is PCOS Diagnosed?
At Viva Eve, your polycystic ovary syndrome specialists NYC will perform a few tests and take a detailed medical history in order to come up with a correct diagnosis.
What Are The Risk Factors of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Several risk factors have been identified for the development of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). These risk factors include:
- Family History: Multiple studies suggest that there is a genetic predisposition to PCOS.
- Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance can stimulate the ovaries to produce more androgens and disrupt normal ovulation.
- Obesity: Obesity can worsen insulin resistance and hormone imbalances, exacerbating the symptoms of PCOS.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Sedentary Lifestyle may contribute to the development of PCOS.
- Ethnicity: South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic women, have been found to have a higher risk of developing PCOS compared to other populations.
- Age: PCOS can occur at any age, but it often emerges during the late teens or early twenties. Early onset of puberty can also increase the risk of PCOS.
- Metabolic Disorders: Conditions such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high blood pressure are commonly associated with PCOS.
It’s important to note that many women without these risk factors also develop PCOS, and some women with multiple risk factors do not develop the condition.
What Are Possible Treatments For Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
There are several treatment avenues available to help alleviate not only the underlying cause of PCOS, but also many of its symptoms.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome treatment NYC may include:
- A PCOS diet that’s low in carbohydrates and high in vegetables and fruits
- A PCOS diet that controls weight gain while strengthening your immune system
- A regular exercise program, such as walking or swimming
- Cessation of smoking
- Birth control pills to alleviate symptoms
- Metformin to regulate your periods
- Fertility medication if you are trying to get pregnant with PCOS
- Progestin therapy, which is an estrogen replacement therapy
- Spironolactone, which blocks effects of androgen on your skin
- Eflornithine cream to slow hair growth
- Clomiphene, an oral anti-estrogen medication
- Letrozole, a breast cancer treatment that can stimulate ovaries
- Gonadotropin, hormone medicine
- Electrolysis, a needle with electric current that damages and destroys hair follicles
- Counseling or support groups that can help you deal with PCOS symptoms
- Ovarian drilling to puncture and destroy a part of an ovary to reduce the hormone androgen
- Surgery, as a last resort in some cases, to remove unusually large cysts
Are There Preventative Steps or Measures To Avoid Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) cannot be completely prevented because its exact cause is not yet fully understood. Many healthcare providers recommend the following:
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Getting regular exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Limiting carbohydrate consumption
- Avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol
- Getting regular checkups
- Managing stress
What Are The Risks If Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Is Left Untreated?
If left untreated, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can lead to various complications and health risks. Some of the potential risks associated with untreated PCOS include:
- Infertility: PCOS can make it difficult for eggs to mature and be released regularly, leading to difficulties in conceiving.
- Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Elevated insulin levels and impaired glucose regulation can contribute to the onset of diabetes.
- Endometrial Cancer: PCOS can lead to the overgrowth of the uterine lining (endometrial hyperplasia), which can increase the risk of cancer.
- Cardiovascular Disease: PCOS and associated hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, and obesity can contribute to cardiovascular risks.
- Sleep Apnea: Obesity and hormonal imbalances in PCOS can contribute to the development of sleep apnea.
- Psychological and Emotional Challenges: PCOS physical symptoms and body image concerns can contribute to depression, anxiety, and decreased quality of life.
It’s important to note that early diagnosis, lifestyle modifications, and appropriate medical interventions can help reduce the risks and effectively manage PCOS-related complications.
Are There Other Related Conditions To Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
Yes, there are several related conditions and health issues that are commonly associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). These conditions can occur concurrently with PCOS or share similar underlying factors. Some of the related conditions to PCOS include:
- Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Sleep Apnea
- Mood Disorders
- Endometrial Hyperplasia and Cancer
- Cardiovascular Disease
Understanding the potential associations between these conditions can help in the early detection, management, and prevention of complications. Regular check-ups and discussions with your Viva Eve healthcare provider are crucial for addressing and monitoring these related conditions alongside PCOS.
Key Takeaways About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- PCOS is a common hormonal disorder affecting women of reproductive age. It is characterized by hormonal imbalances, irregular menstrual cycles, and the presence of small cysts on the ovaries.
- The exact cause of PCOS is not fully understood, but it likely involves a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors.
- Symptoms of PCOS can vary but often include irregular or absent periods, excessive hair growth (hirsutism), acne, weight gain, and fertility issues.
- PCOS is associated with several potential complications, including infertility, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer, sleep apnea, and cardiovascular disease.
- Treatment for PCOS focuses on managing symptoms and reducing the risk of complications. Lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, weight management, and stress reduction, are often recommended as the first line of treatment.
Recommended Next Steps For Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
If you suspect you have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or have been diagnosed with PCOS, here are some recommended next steps:
Schedule an appointment with a Viva Eve healthcare provider. Our team of doctors and nurse are experts in managing PCOS. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, evaluate your specific symptoms, and develop a personalized treatment plan.
Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is often the first line of treatment for PCOS. Our Registered Dietitian will help you focus on maintaining a balanced diet, and making everyday changes that will be beneficial in improving hormonal balance and reducing symptoms.
Medications: Depending on your symptoms and specific needs, your healthcare provider may recommend medications to help regulate your menstrual cycles, manage androgen levels, improve insulin sensitivity, or address other specific concerns.
Fertility Evaluation and Management: your Viva Eve healthcare provider can assess your fertility status, provide guidance on optimizing fertility, and discuss assisted reproductive techniques if necessary.
Regular Monitoring and staying in touch with your healthcare provider for periodic check-ups to assess your progress and monitor any changes is crucial.
Emotional Support: healthcare providers, therapists, or support groups can help you cope with the emotional aspects of PCOS.
Education and Self-Care: Taking the time to educate yourself about PCOS and its managemen can empower you to make informed decisions and actively participate in your treatment.
Remember that PCOS management is individualized, and what works for one person may not work for another. It may take time to find the treatment plan that works for you and your individual symptoms and circumstances.