Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS, Stein-Levinthal syndrome) is a hormonal disorder in women. Symptoms and signs of PCOS include an irregular menstrual cycle, presence of excess male hormones, enlarged ovaries with small cysts, hair loss, acne, and excessive hair growth. Conditions associated with PCOS include diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infertility, and abnormal vaginal bleeding. Treatment of PCOS can include medication or surgery.
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Hair LossMost people lose approximately 100 scalp hairs per day. Common causes of hair loss include female- and male-pattern baldness, alopecia areata, certain medications, and poor nutrition. Finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine) are commonly used in the treatment of hair loss.
High Blood PressureHigh blood pressure (hypertension) may be present in an individual, without any symptoms. Thus, it is called the "silent killer." Causes of high blood pressure include heart disease, kidney disease, tumors, birth control, alcohol, thyroid dysfunction, and birth control pills.Treatment of high blood pressure is generally through diet, exercise, and medication if necessary.
High CholesterolHigh cholesterol levels can lead to heart disease, stroke, angina, blood clot formation, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Causes of high cholesterol include heredity, age, gender, stress, and lifestyle choices. Cholesterol levels can be reduced with lifestyle changes and medication if necessary (statins, fibrates, bile acid sequestrants, or niacin).
InfertilityInfertility affects about 6.1 million people in the United States—about 10% of men and women of reproductive age. A fertility specialist is usually an obstetrician-gynecologist (specialist in women's reproductive health) with advanced education, research, and professional skills in reproductive endocrinology.
Insulin ResistanceInsulin resistance is a condition associated with several other conditions as well as a genetic component. Some of the conditions associated with insulin resistance include: the metabolic syndrome, stress, obesity, steroid use, or infection. Treatment of insulin resistance include lifestyle modifications (diet and exercise) and if necessary, medications.
Ovarian CystsThere are several different types of ovarian cysts (noncancerous growths). Follicular, corpus luteum, hemorrhagic, dermoid, endometrioid (endometriomas), polycystic-appearing ovary, and cystadenoma. There are a variety of causes of ovarian cysts. Some are previous history, irregular menses, increased upper body fat, early menses, infertility, hypothyroidism, or side effect of medication. Symptoms include lower abdominal pain, pain after sex, urination, or bowel movements, nausea, or vomiting. Treatment depends upon the cause of the ovarian cyst.
Vaginal BleedingIn women, abnormal vaginal bleeding when is when they are not on their period (menstruation). Symptoms of abnormal vaginal bleeding outside of your period include red blood on the underwear or pajamas, pelvic or abdominal pain, and excessive pain from menstruating, or if you are pregnant. Causes of abnormal vaginal bleeding include unbalanced hormones, during pregnancy, after trauma, uterine fibroids, menopause, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Treatment for abnormal bleeding depends on the cause of the bleeding. Talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional if you have any abnormal vaginal bleeding.
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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
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