By Lori Stabinski, APRN

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic endocrine disorder that affects women during their reproductive years. Women may first recognize the signs of PCOS as irregular menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, missed periods for several months or struggles with infertility.

PCOS occurs in the ovaries when there is an overproduction of androgens or the hormones that are associated with male characteristics. PCOS symptoms that may occur in females are hormonal acne and excessive hair growth similar to male patterns of hair growth.

PCOS treatment centers around stabilizing the excess testosterone. Treatment options are customizable and take into account whether a woman is actively interested in reproduction. Treatment may include birth control to regulate the menstrual cycle or weight control—just a ten percent weight loss can be very beneficial for patients who are trying to regulate their menstrual cycles. Patients may also be referred to an endocrinologist, fertility specialist, or nutritionist.

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to talk to your Women’s Care provider to help develop a treatment plan that is based on your individual circumstances.