Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) throws your hormones out of balance causing your cycle to become irregular, making it hard to get pregnant, and affecting the way you look. Untreated, PCOS can put you at greater risk of chronic disease. Dr. Jerry W. Morris, who works in Southlake, Texas, can help you navigate the challenges of this syndrome to control the problem and minimize symptoms. His practice, The Private Practice, gives you personalized care and regular access to him when needed.
When you have PCOS, you grow tiny cysts on your ovaries. The cysts aren’t harmful, but they affect your normal hormone production. You produce more androgen, a male sex hormone, than normal and often become insulin resistant, which puts you at a greater risk of diabetes and weight gain.
The ovaries produce an egg monthly, but with PCOS, this egg may not develop correctly or be released, which may lead to a painful cyst that can rupture and bleed. This can lead to severe PMS, endometriosis, and miscarriages, too. This affects your cycle and ability to get pregnant.
Women with PCOS may experience just a few, or many, of the following symptoms:
Acne and thinning hair
Weight gain and trouble with weight loss
Excess body hair, especially on the face, chest, and belly
Skin changes that involve the development of skin tags or darkening in the folds along the neck, under the breasts, or in the groin
Irregular periods and infertility
Dr. Morris will do a thorough review of your health history, including your menstrual history, as well as a physical exam. He may also order lab tests to check your hormone levels and rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. Usually, you’ll undergo a pelvic ultrasound to check for cysts on your ovaries.
Nutrition and exercise guidance can help you gain control of PCOS and balance your hormones, especially if it leads to weight loss. Dr. Morris can provide such guidance. You may be prescribed birth control pills (or the patch or other hormonal methods) to regulate your periods. If you’re trying to get pregnant, fertility medications offer assistance.
Other possible treatments include anti-androgen medicines, which can help reduce hair loss and reduce body hair growth. You should not take these medications if you’re trying to get pregnant. The diabetes drug, metformin, may also help you with PCOS. Talk to Dr. Morris to see if it’s an option for you.
A woman with PCOS may be at risk for other health complications. PCOS is associated with greater incidences of:
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure