From bothersome menstrual problems to marked skin changes, PCOS can do a number on your life. Fully known as polycystic ovary syndrome, this chronic condition is also the leading cause of female infertility and affects up to 12% of women of reproductive age in the United States. Thankfully, proper diagnosis and treatment can go far in helping you regain comfort and ease while improving your overall health and wellbeing.
Monique Petteys, FNP-C, at The Women's Center at Life Point Medical in Clayton, Georgia, offers personalized, compassionate gynecological care to women of all ages, including those experiencing the effects of PCOS. Read on to learn more about this condition.
PCOS happens when your body produces imbalance amounts of reproductive hormones. These imbalances make it difficult for your ovaries to create and release eggs normally, leading to menstrual problems, difficulties getting pregnant, and severe acne, darkened skin, and skin tags. Because of higher amounts of androgen hormones and insulin in your bloodstream, PCOS can also trigger weight gain and unusual body or facial hair. Symptoms usually become noticeable shortly after your first menstrual period, although they can flare up later in life as well.
Getting properly diagnosed and treated when you have PCOS is important, not only for reducing your symptoms and improving your life quality but for staving off potential complications. Untreated PCOS can raise your risk of ovarian cysts, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Monique Petteys, FNP-C may determine that you have PCOS if you have at least two of these three symptoms:
Each treatment plan for PCOS is unique. Depending on the specifics of your condition, your customized plan may involve lifestyle and weight loss guidance, hormone therapy, medications, and/or fertility treatments. For some people with PCOS, certain birth control options minimize symptoms by improving hormone levels, improving ovulation, and stopping excess hair growth.
If you have severe or long-lasting fertility problems, you may benefit from in vitro fertilization or a minimally-invasive surgery to address any obstructions in your reproductive organs. If you’ve developed type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to get treatment for that as well. Eating a healthy diet that promotes blood sugar control can help you manage your weight and guard against this form of diabetes, which affects more than half of women with PCOS by age 40.
To learn more about PCOS or get the care you need, call The Women’s Center at Life Point Medical or request an appointment through our website.