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Understanding How PCOS Can Affect Your Body

Understanding How PCOS Can Affect Your Body

Messed-up menstrual periods may be the first sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but they’re not the last. 

If you have PCOS, you need to know what to expect and how it will impact your health and your life. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better you’ll be able to manage your PCOS symptoms and live a comfortable and active life. 

But you don’t have to navigate the journey alone. At The Women’s Center at Life Point Medical in Clayton, Georgia, Monique Petteys, FNP-C, offers comprehensive gynecological services, compassionate support, and effective treatments that prevent complications and address fertility issues. Here’s what Monique wants you to know about the far-reaching effects of PCOS and how to manage them.

PCOS 101

PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women during their reproductive years. It tends to appear around your first menstruation, but being overweight or obese can delay it.

Classic signs of PCOS include:

PCOS also paves the way for other conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer, and obesity. It can also hijack your mood and cause anxiety and depression. 

Next, we take a closer look at PCOS’s full-body impact.

PCOS and your hormones

One of the main symptoms of PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that makes women’s bodies produce too many “male hormones” or androgens.

This hormonal shift can cause various physical changes, such as increased hair growth in areas typically reserved for men — face, chest, and back. Ironically, PCOS can also lead to hair thinning and even male-pattern baldness.

And if you thought acne was behind you, PCOS can reinstate that teenage nightmare.

PCOS and fertility

Although PCOS doesn’t automatically mean you can’t get pregnant, it triggers ovulation problems, making it harder for you to conceive. 

Normally, your ovaries produce eggs, each taking shape within a follicle. As the egg matures, the follicle expands and breaks open to release the egg during ovulation. PCOS disrupts that process by hindering hormone production and egg development, so the follicles remain in a growth state and become cysts. 

PCOS is the most common cause of female fertility problems but is also the most treatable, so don’t lose hope. Talk to Monique about your symptoms and family plans. 

PCOS and your metabolism

Polycystic ovary syndrome affects several hormones, including insulin, which controls the glucose your body uses for energy. If you have PCOS, excess insulin can increase androgen production, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome leads to several health issues:

These complications increase your risk of developing heart disease or a heart attack. 

How to manage PCOS and your overall health

If you’re one of the millions of women struggling with PCOS, there’s hope in finding ways to manage your condition. Although there’s no known cure, Monique is a skilled practitioner and can develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and reproductive desires.

Monique supports you as you make lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, following a healthy diet, and incorporating whole foods into your meal plan to help control blood sugar levels.

She may also recommend other treatment options, such as birth control or fertility medications if needed, to help manage your PCOS symptoms successfully.

If you have coexisting type 2 diabetes, Monique could also suggest medications to regulate blood sugar and lower androgen production. With Monique’s guidance, you can take control of PCOS and minimize the risk of long-term complications.

To learn more, call or click to schedule an appointment. 

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