Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is the most common cause of irregular menstrual cycles and fertility problems. It is estimated to affect 5% of women. The symptoms of PCOS include irregular menstrual cycles (usually less than 8 periods per year), excess facial and body hair (hirsuitism), acne, and reduced fertility. Many, but not all, women with PCOS are overweight or obese and may have high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. Women with PCOS are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, therefore diagnosis and good medical care are important.
The cause of PCOS is uncertain, however insulin resistance is thought to play a critical role. There are a number of treatment options to help regulate menstrual periods, reduce facial and body hair, improve fertility and reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.