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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic condition with or without polycystic ovaries. It is the most common hormonal disorder that affects women at reproductive age.

PCOS affects about 1 in 10 women at reproductive age and can occur from puberty until menopause.It is also more common to affect women and can affect more in some high-risk groups, such as Indigenous, Asian, North African and Caucasian European women.

PCOS is a common but treatable cause of infertility in women.

Women with PCOS may have a variety of symptoms which may change over their lifetime and include:

  • Irregular or no periods
  • Excess hair growth on the face or body
  • Acne on the face or upper body
  • Darkened skin patches (acanthosis nigricans) 
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight leading to poorer body image
  • Thinning hair or hair loss on the scalp
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Emotional problems such as anxiety and depression

High levels of androgens (male hormones) can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) during each menstrual cycle and contribute to male traits such as excess hair and acne.

Insulin is the hormone that controls how the food we eat is converted into energy. Women with PCOS have high levels of insulin as their bodies do not respond normally to insulin and over time this leads to insulin resistance and an increased risk of long term diabetes. Insulin resistance also contributes to weight gain and difficulty losing weight.

There is no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome but symptoms can be managed with medication, dietary and lifestyle changes which can improve your long term health and emotional well being. If you are diagnosed with PCOS it is possible you will need some assistance to get pregnant. 

As fertility in women begins to decline over the age of 35 it would be wise to seek professional help to

discuss and plan for future pregnancy before then. Please be in touch with our rooms for further assistance.

For further research, management tips and information on PCOS, you can also head to the Jean Hailes Website by using this link here -

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