New England Women's Healthcare
OBGYNs located in Woburn, MA & Wilmington, MA
Approximately 1 out of every 10 American women suffers from a hormone balance known as polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. At New England Women’s Healthcare in Woburn and Wilmington, Massachusetts, the expert group of OB/GYNs offers diagnosis and management of this common condition so you can overcome its associated symptoms, including infertility. Call the office or schedule an appointment online for more information about how to manage PCOS.
PCOS Q & A
What is PCOS?
When you have an imbalance of your reproductive hormones, it can have dramatic effects on your ovaries. The ovaries are the two almond-shaped organs that sit on either side of the uterus and are where your eggs develop and are released. When you have PCOS, the eggs may not develop as they should or fail to get released during monthly ovulation. As a result, your menstrual cycle, fertility, and overall health may be impacted.
With PCOS, you usually have too many male hormones – called androgens. This surplus can cause long-term health complications, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
What symptoms suggest I have PCOS?
A wide variety of symptoms characterize PCOS. Women with the condition often have irregular menstrual bleeding, they have fewer than eight menstrual cycles per year, or their period comes more frequently than every 28 days. In some cases of PCOS, you have no menstrual cycle whatsoever.
Other indications of PCOS include:
- Thinning hair that mimics male-pattern baldness
- Excessive hair growth in areas that men usually develop hair
- Unexplained weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Darkening of the skin, especially in creases such as at the elbow or groin
- Skin tags
If you experience irregular periods and any of these symptoms, consult with the doctors at New England Women’s Healthcare.
How do the doctors diagnose PCOS?
PCOS is diagnosed after a thorough physical exam, review of your symptoms and health history, and a pelvic exam. You may undergo blood tests and an ultrasound to check for ovarian cysts, a common sign of PCOS.
How can I manage PCOS?
PCOS cannot be cured, but the symptoms, including infertility, can usually be controlled well. Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss if you’re overweight and healthy changes to your diet, go a long way in managing symptoms of PCOS.
You may benefit from hormonal birth control pills that contain estrogen and progesterone to help place your hormones into balance.
For women wanting to get pregnant, fertility drugs can help stimulate ovulation so you successfully become pregnant. If it’s found you have trouble using insulin, you may benefit from Metformin, a diabetes drug, to lower your insulin levels and help reduce androgen production.
If you’re struggling with symptoms that suggest PCOS, call New England Women’s Healthcare or book an appointment using the online tool.
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