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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Vaginal BleedingLearn about what causes abnormal vaginal bleeding (spotting in between periods), including hormonal disorders, benign or malignant tumors, blood clotting disorders, certain medications, and infections.
Does PCOS Go AwayPolycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) does not go away. There is no cure for PCOS, and the goal of treatment is to manage symptoms. Many people will need a combination of treatments, such as hormonal birth control, anti-androgen medications, metformin (Glucophage), eflornithine HCl cream to slow hair growth in unwanted places, prescription skin treatments or oral antibiotics for acne, infertility medications (clomiphene, letrozole, gonadotropin therapy), and others.
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 increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. There are no symptoms and it is often diagnosed during routine blood tests. Learn about prevention and treatment.
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 CystsOvarian cyst symptoms include lower abdominal pain, irregular periods, pain during or after sex, nausea, vomiting, and infertility. Learn about causes, diagnosis, treatment, and surgery.
What Are the First Signs of PCOSPolycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) symptoms include missed periods, infertility, weight gain and acne, which are all caused by hormone imbalance in women.
What Is the Main Cause of PCOSPCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a common cause of ovarian cysts and infertility. Its actual cause is unknown, but certain risk factors increase the likelihood of getting PCOS, including having a mother or sister with PCOS, being obese, having an irregular menstrual cycle, and certain reproductive system abnormalities.
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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Topic Guide - Visuals
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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
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