Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – PCOS

PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) Fast Facts

  • What is PCOS?
  • PCOS Symptoms
  • PCOS Diagnosis
  • PCOS Treatment
  • PCOS Diet
  • Getting Pregnant with PCOS

 

What is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – also called PCOD or Polycystic Ovarian Disease)

  • Women who have PCOS have a hormone imbalance that interferes with their normal ovulation.
  • PCOS is a reproductive, metabolic, and hormonal disorder.
  • PCOS affects up to 10 percent of US women of child-bearing age.
  • Less than 50 percent of women with PCOS are diagnosed.

 

PCOS Symptoms:

  • Irregular, abnormal, or absent periods
  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Increased acne and body hair growth
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Loss or Thinning of Scalp Hair
  • Spotting between cycles
  • Heavy or very light periods
  • Ovarian Cysts

PCOS does not have a one-size fits all list of symptoms.  Every PCOS patient is unique.  Women may have one, two, or many symptoms of PCOS.  Many women with PCOS will struggle with their weight and be overweight or obese – but some will not.  Some doctors do understand PCOS or diagnose it.  Reproductive Endocrinologists specialize in the treatment of PCOS.

 

PCOS Diagnosis:

A Reproductive Endocrinologist will perform various tests including:

  • Physical exam
  • Pelvic exam
  • Medical history review
  • Bloodwork
  • Pelvic Ultrasound

The doctor will consider all results and reported symptoms and make a diagnosis of PCOS.

 

PCOS Treatment:

Many doctors do not understand or diagnose PCOS frequently.  They often rely on Reproductive Endocrinologists who specialize in the treatment of PCOS.  PCOS is a common cause of infertility.

PCOS Treatment includes:

  • Diet modifications, increased exercise, and recommended weight loss
  • Medications (can include hormones, anti-diabetic drugs, lipid medications, etc)
  • Infertility Treatment (if needed)

 

PCOS Diet:

There are many on-line resources for women seeking a way to naturally treat PCOS.  Lifestyle and diet modifications are an important part of PCOS treatment.

Many women with PCOS are insulin-resistant, which means they overproduce insulin and don’t use it properly in their bodies.  This can make a woman prone to weight gain, as insulin is a component of creating excess body fat.

EAT:

  • High-fiber veggies & complex carbs (broccoli, greens, beans, nuts, etc.)
  • Lean protein (chicken, pork, lean beef, fish)
  • Anti-inflammatory foods (tomatoes, fish, olive oil, berries, etc)

DON’T EAT:

  • Fried Foods
  • Sugary snacks, desserts, and candy
  • Processed carbs (breads, cookies, crackers, white rice, pasta, and most pre-packaged foods)
  • Sugary drinks, sodas, and juices

 

Getting Pregnant with PCOS:

Unfortunately infertility is a common symptom and side effect of PCOS.  PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder in women associated with infertility.  Many women with PCOS do not regularly ovulate and require fertility medication to get pregnant.  PCOS also increases the rate of pregnancy loss.