Dr. Janelle Dorsett has years of experience in fertility medicine and assisted-reproduction technology. She’s helped countless patients in Lubbock, TX suffering from male, female, and mixed infertility. Whatever issue you’re facing, The Centre for Reproductive Medicine is here to help.
In this post, we’d like to focus on a particular cause of female infertility known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We’ll go over the signs and symptoms of PCOS and briefly cover how the condition can be treated.
About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition in which a woman’s hormone levels are imbalanced. Women with PCOS have higher-than-normal levels of male hormones in their system, which leads to abnormal menstrual cycles and other problems than can impact fertility.
PCOS affects roughly 1 in 10 women who are of childbearing age according to figures from the Office on Women’s Health.
Most Common Signs of PCOS
The most common signs and symptoms of PCOS we see at our Lubbock fertility clinic include the following listed below.
Given the changes in hormone levels, women with PCOS tend to experience irregular cycles that last longer than usual. Some women with PCOS may have eight or less periods in a year given the hormone issues.
Since periods last longer, many women with PCOS typically experience heavier flow than usual when they menstruate. This is the result of the uterine lining having more time to accumulate.
The increase in male hormones tends to cause oily skin. Many women with PCOS experience acne on their face, neck, chest, and shoulders as a result.
Male-Pattern Hair Thinning
Since there are higher levels of male hormones in women with PCOS, there’s a chance they will experience hair thinning along the front of their hairline and the crown of their head, similar to the parts of the scalp affected by male pattern baldness.
A woman with PCOS will likely notice her skin darkening around certain folds and creases, such as the groin and the undersides of the breasts.
Hormone imbalances can lead to headaches in women with PCOS, some of which can be serious and even debilitating.
Risk Factors for PCOS
Doctors and researchers have noticed that PCOS is often associated with the following issues and conditions:
- Genetics/family history of PCOS
- Excessive stress
- Being overweight or obese
- Diabetes and issues with insulin resistance
- Sleep apnea
When Should I See a Doctor About PCOS Symptoms?
PCOS can be difficult to detect. If you notice any of the above symptoms and any risk factors for PCOS are present, be sure to see your doctor. They can properly diagnose whatever condition you may be experiencing.
Even if you do not have PCOS, an irregular cycle could be the sign of another medical problem that requires professional attention.
Treating PCOS will generally involve some modifications to your lifestyle as well as the use of medications to regular hormone levels. A combination of lifestyle changes and drugs can help address the problem.
If you continue to experience infertility because of PCOS, our clinic can help through various assisted-reproduction procedures that can be tailored to your needs.
Learn More About PCOS
If you live in the Lubbock area and would like more information about PCOS and how it can be treated, be sure to contact a skilled fertility specialist. You can reach The Centre for Reproductive Medicine by phone at (806) 788-1212.