Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 10% of American women in their childbearing years, and it’s one of the most common causes of infertility. At Capital Women’s Care, Judith Gurdian, MD, Michelle Spector, MD, Tanya Ghatan, MD, and the rest of the team, understand the effects PCOS can have and work with their patients in Rockville, Maryland, to manage the condition. If you suspect you might have PCOS, get expert treatment by calling the office or using the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.
At its core, PCOS is a hormonal problem that interferes with the production and release of your eggs. Because your ovaries aren’t releasing eggs properly through your follicles, the follicles turn into fluid-filled sacs -- or cysts -- giving the condition its name.
But PCOS goes beyond the cysts on your ovaries because of the imbalance it creates in your hormones, which can lead to excess male hormones in your system.
PCOS typically develops alongside your first period, but many women aren’t aware of its existence until they try to have children in their 20s or 30s.
Since most women don’t even realize they have PCOS until they try to get pregnant, without success, infertility is at the top of the list when it comes to symptoms.
Other symptoms include:
These last few symptoms are a result of having excess male hormones in your system, which creates more masculine characteristics in your body, such as facial hair.
There’s no identifiable cause of PCOS, but medical research points to heredity, insulin resistance, and abnormally high levels of androgens as the main contributors to the condition.
There’s no cure for the disorder, but there are treatments that can manage it. The OB/GYNs at Capital Women’s Care take a treatment approach based on your goals. For example, if you’re concerned about the negative side effects on your appearance, and you’re not trying to get pregnant, your doctor typically recommends hormone therapy to increase your estrogen and progestin levels to offset the androgen.
If you are trying to get pregnant, your doctor may put you on medications to promote ovulation.
In either case, your doctor may also counsel you on certain lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on PCOS, such as:
To learn more about managing your PCOS, call Capital Women’s Care, or use the online scheduling tool to book an appointment.