Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that affects women during their reproductive years. Its symptoms can negatively impact a woman’s quality of life and possibly her fertility. PCOS symptoms can sometimes mimic other reproductive or general medical issues, so it is not always immediately diagnosed. Because of this, many women who experience PCOS are not provided with the appropriate treatment needed to improve their quality of life and help with any fertility concerns.
At PGOMG, we want to provide patients with the information necessary to help women advocate for themselves and have clear conversations with their providers. The more we know about your experiences, the better we can work to create a successful diagnosis and treatment plan:
- PCOS symptoms may not seem like any one condition, but they are related to hormonal changes. Symptoms of the condition can include weight gain, increased hair growth and/or thinning hair, irregular periods, acne, oily skin, and difficulty conceiving (likely due to inconsistent ovulation).
- PCOS can vary in severity. Sometimes symptoms of the condition are mild to moderate, but for some women, the symptoms can be severe. It’s important to know that regardless of how you are impacted, there are treatment options available.
- There are things your doctor will need to know to provide an accurate diagnosis. You should be prepared to give your doctor a full list of your symptoms, how long you’ve been having them, your current medications, any recent life changes or stressors, a record of your period cycle for as far back as you can provide, and any questions you have.
- Treatment can range from lifestyle changes to medication(s). Birth control pills are one of the more common options for PCOS treatment in order to assist with hormone as well as period cycle regulation, but lifestyle modifications including diet and exercise changes can also be advised. Other medications can be prescribed to address specific symptom concerns.
- PCOS can make it difficult to conceive without reproductive assistance. PCOS impacts ovulation and period cycles, so it can be challenging to accurately determine when you are ovulating. Because of this, anyone trying to conceive on her own may struggle. This is why seeking your provider’s care is so important, so you can avoid having time pass without medical care in place that can help you conceive.