Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal condition that can cause a wide range of disruptive and uncomfortable symptoms. For women in and around Honolulu and Kapolei, Hawaii, outstanding diagnostic and treatment services are available from Lynette W. Tsai, MD, and Monique Leung, MD, of Oahu OB/GYN. If you’re searching for answers or ready to explore treatment options for PCOS, book an appointment today. Online scheduling is available, or you can always call to set up your visit.
PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that affects as many as 26% of women during their childbearing years. Hormonal imbalance is the central issue in PCOS.
Everyone creates hormones, which act as chemical messengers that regulate various functions throughout your body. Women produce estrogen and progesterone to regulate ovulation and the menstrual cycle. Women also produce small amounts of testosterone and other hormones associated with males, just as men produce small amounts of estrogen.
Women with PCOS manufacture too many androgens, the hormones considered “male.” That creates an imbalance that causes a wider range of symptoms.
Researchers are still studying the causes of polycystic ovary syndrome. It appears that excess insulin production is part of the problem. Too much insulin can boost androgen production, which alters your normal ovulation process.
Chronic low-grade inflammation may also play a causal role in PCOS. When inflammation is ongoing, it can prompt your ovaries to produce excess androgens. That can lead to problems with your heart and blood vessels.
There also appears to be a genetic factor in PCOS. If your mother or sister experiences the condition, you may have an elevated risk.
Because PCOS symptoms are so varied, many women live with the condition for years before they receive a proper diagnosis. Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:
It’s important to seek treatment for PCOS. Left untreated, the condition can increase your risk of:
The right treatment path from Oahu OB/GYN can relieve symptoms and reduce your risk of serious health complications.
Oahu OB/GYN designs your treatment to address your specific needs. Hormone therapy is one of the most common treatments and works to restore optimal balance. You may be advised to take birth control pills to decrease androgen production, or progestin to regulate your menstrual cycle.
If you’re struggling with infertility, your doctor might advise medications to stimulate your ovaries to release eggs. There are oral and injectable options, and it may take time to find the right treatment for you.
Oral and topical medications can treat excess hair growth. Laser hair removal or electrolysis are also effective ways to reduce unwanted body hair.
Finally, lifestyle modifications can make a world of difference in PCOS symptoms. Your Oahu OB/GYN gynecologist can suggest healthy changes that can reduce your symptoms and improve your overall health and wellness.
When you’re ready to get started, call or book an appointment online to meet with a member of the Oahu OB/GYN team.