When many women hear the word “hormones,” they think of menopause. But, most may not realize that hormones can also be important for women before menopause. About 20% of premenopausal women have a condition called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Despite its name, the problem doesn’t actually lie in the ovaries. Even though PCOS can cause ovarian cysts in about half of affected women, not all women with PCOS have these cysts, and not all ovarian cysts mean a woman has PCOS.
The main issue with PCOS is not the cysts themselves but rather an imbalance in hormones. It is more of an endocrine disorder than a gynecological one, and it’s often linked to insulin resistance, which affects how the body uses insulin to control blood sugar levels. Symptoms of PCOS can vary, but common signs include irregular periods, difficulty getting pregnant, weight gain, and trouble losing weight. Some women may also have acne, excess hair growth, or other symptoms. Because symptoms can vary so much, PCOS can be tricky to diagnose, and many doctors and clinicians may not recognize it or know how to treat it.

PCOS is not just a cosmetic issue or a matter of inconvenience. It can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers if left untreated. That’s why it’s crucial to diagnose and treat PCOS early. The cause of PCOS is partly genetic and partly related to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can affect certain hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle and can lead to higher levels of testosterone, causing symptoms like acne and excess hair growth. It also increases the risk of diabetes and other health problems.

Because PCOS can be hard to spot, especially in women who seem otherwise healthy, women with any symptoms need to get evaluated by a doctor. A few simple blood tests can help diagnose PCOS, and early treatment can make a big difference in managing symptoms and preventing complications. To learn more about what we offer or to set up a consultation, contact us today by phone or online to schedule your appointment.