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How PCOS Can Affect Your Fertility, Your Appearance, and Your Health

How PCOS Can Affect Your Fertility, Your Appearance, and Your Health

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects up to 15% of women and people assigned female at birth. When you have it, your ovaries produce too many hormones, leading to unusually high levels of hormones called androgens. 

As a result, PCOS can affect your health and well-being in a number of ways. Thankfully, early diagnosis and effective treatment can go far.

At The Women's Center at Life Point Medical in Clayton, Georgia, Monique Petteys, FNP-C, offers personalized gynecological care to help you manage conditions like PCOS.

Given that September is PCOS Awareness Month, it’s an especially good time to learn more. Let’s take a closer look at this condition, including ways it may affect your fertility, appearance, and overall health.

PCOS and your fertility

PCOS is a common cause of infertility. Unlike some causes of infertility, though, it’s treatable. 

When you have PCOS, imbalanced hormone levels can keep your eggs from growing or releasing normally. And if you don’t release an egg (ovulate) during your menstrual cycle, you can’t get pregnant.

While not everyone with PCOS struggles to get pregnant, infertility does become an issue for 70-80% of women with the condition. In fact, many women learn they have PCOS while seeking the underlying cause of their fertility problems.

PCOS and your appearance

Many PCOS symptoms are invisible, meaning they’re not necessarily obvious from the outside. Some PCOS symptoms, though, cause noticeable changes in your appearance. 

For example, hormonal issues from PCOS may lead to:

Excess weight may seem to gather around your midsection in particular. While some PCOS weight gain stems from insulin resistance, you may also deal with abdominal bloating from water retention.

PCOS and your overall health

In addition to fertility challenges and changes in your appearance, PCOS is linked with a range of potentially serious conditions. Whether PCOS causes or stems from them isn’t fully known, but having PCOS may mean you hold a higher risk for:

Irregular and unpredictable periods are also common with PCOS. You might have very light periods or skip them altogether, or have heavy periods that lead to weakness, fatigue, or an iron deficiency.

Effective PCOS treatment — such as medications and lifestyle changes — can minimize your symptoms, allowing you to lead a fuller, more comfortable life.

To learn more about PCOS or get the treatment and support you need, call us at The Women's Center at Life Point Medical in Rabun County, northeast Georgia, or request an appointment through our website.

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