Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome is caused by a hormonal imbalance, which can affect your menstrual cycle and make it difficult to conceive.
Though it can't be cured, Dr. Sonja Kristiansen can evaluate your condition and develop a plan to improve your reproductive health.
Learn more about what polycystic ovary syndrome might mean for you at our Houston, TX, clinic...
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Explained
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is caused by a hormonal imbalance that results in cyst growth in and on the ovaries. This condition can result in irregular menstrual cycles, such as missed periods or more frequent periods, and lead to female factor infertility.
During a healthy menstrual cycle, the egg is released from the ovary and travels down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. For many women trying to conceive, polycystic ovaries can cause egg damage or inconsistent ovulation. When the egg is damaged or not released properly, sperm are unable to fertilize it, preventing women from naturally conceiving.
Am I at Risk?
PCOS affects roughly one in 10 women in their childbearing years. It can develop at any age once you go through puberty, but has a strong impact on women in their 20s and 30s who are trying to conceive. Women who are obese or have a family member with PCOS have a greater chance of developing the condition themselves.
What Causes Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
All women have a small amount of androgens (male hormones) in their body. However, women with PCOS produce higher levels than normal, which can cause acne, male-pattern baldness, excess hair growth, and irregular menstrual periods.
Insulin is the hormone that assists with the digestion of food. When functioning normally, it turns sugar into energy. If your body is insulin resistant, your blood sugar levels can rise. Insulin resistance frequently leads to type 2 diabetes, especially in obese patients. However, insulin resistance can also cause an increase in androgens, which in turn can lead to PCOS.
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"We had such a great experience with Houston Fertility Center! After trying to grow our family for 2.5 years without any luck we finally decided to try a fertility treatment. I had so much anxiety going into this whole process but everyone there was so great to work with...We can’t thank them enough for everything! I truly felt like they cared about me each time I went in! I will miss seeing these sweet ladies as my visits are now with my OBGYN. I would highly recommend them for your fertility needs!" Chelsea Jowers
Did You Know?
PCOS can also lead to serious long-term health problems including high blood pressure and diabetes, so it is important that you seek a professional diagnosis right away if you think you might suffer from this condition.
The Diagnostic Process
If Dr. Kristiansen suspects you may have polycystic ovaries, she will perform a full physical examination and fertility evaluation. This may include a pelvic exam and transvaginal ultrasound. Using this technology, we can determine the health of your uterine lining and identify any cysts on your ovaries. If necessary, we may take additional blood tests to review your hormone levels.
Treating Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
To determine the cause of PCOS, our team can perform a thorough evaluation using the latest techniques.