Dr. Sonja Kristiansen has experience treating male, female, and mixed infertility. Her Houston, TX assisted reproduction clinic can address all sorts of hurdles that affect fertility and the ability to become pregnant. This includes polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that affects female fertility and other aspects of a woman’s health.
Below, we’d like to discuss the symptoms of PCOS as well as other important information about the condition. This will give you a good understanding of what signs and risk factors you should be aware of and when to seek professional help.
What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?
PCOS refers to hormone imbalances in women that lead to changes in menstrual cycle, fertility, and even appearance. It’s the result of too much male hormone in the system.
According to statistics from the Office on Women’s Health, PCOS affects roughly 1 in 10 women who are of childbearing age. Fascinatingly, many women who have PCOS don’t even realize that they have it.
Common Signs of PCOS
Some of the most common signs of PCOS include the symptoms below.
Many women with PCOS have longer-than-average menstrual cycles. In fact, some women with PCOS have eight or less periods a year.
With longer periods, women with PCOS also tend to experience greater flow during menstruation. This is because the uterine lining tends to build up more.
Male hormones can lead to oilier skin and clogged pores. This could mean issues with acne on the face, chest, and even the upper back.
Male-Pattern Hair Thinning
With male hormones, it’s not unheard of for women to experience thinning along the front of the hairline and the crown of the head, similar places where men experience balding.
Skin Darkening in Certain Areas
A number of women with PCOS notices problems with skin darkening along natural creases of the body, such as the neck area, the groin, and the undersides of the breasts.
Headaches are sometimes caused by PCOS given the hormone imbalances that are involved.
Risk Factors for PCOS
In addition to the above symptoms, the team at Houston Fertility Center also feels it’s important to consider these risk factors linked to PCOS:
- Genetics/family history
- Excessive stress
- Being overweight or obese
- Diabetes and issues with insulin resistance
- Sleep apnea
Seeing a Doctor About Your Symptoms
If you notice any of the above symptoms and you suffer from the risk factors above, there is a chance you may suffer from PCOS. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor about these health issues and what can be done about them.
Consider visiting your doctor as soon as you notice problems with your period, such as a longer period, heavier flow, or a missed period. If you’re not suffering from PCOS, these symptoms could be the sign of another health issue that requires serious attention.
Treatments for PCOS
Treating PCOS will typically involve a combination of medications to address hormone imbalances as well as lifestyle changes that help improve general wellness. This can boost fertility in the process.
If you still struggle with becoming pregnant following treatment, a fertility specialist can suggest procedures that make pregnancy more likely.
Contact Houston Fertility Center
If you would like to learn more about treating PCOS and other potential causes of female infertility, be sure to contact a skilled fertility treatment specialist. You can reach our center by phone at (713) 862-6181.