Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) requires prompt treatment to prevent complications such as abnormal periods, infertility, weight gain, and chronic health conditions. The specialists at KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology in Atlanta, Georgia, have years of experience helping women overcome PCOS. From comprehensive medical care to support for lifestyle changes, you can count on getting the customized treatment you need to restore your health and wellbeing. To schedule a PCOS evaluation, call or book an appointment online today.

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What causes PCOS?

PCOS occurs when women have unusually high levels of insulin and androgens or male hormones such as testosterone. Women typically produce a small number of androgens. When androgen levels get too high, they interfere with ovulation and menstruation.

What symptoms develop if I have PCOS?

If you have PCOS, you have at least two of the three key symptoms:

Abnormal menstrual periods

Your periods may be too heavy, irregular, or infrequent. Some women with PCOS don’t have monthly periods at all.

Ovarian cysts

You may or may not have ovarian cysts. You can also have ovarian cysts and not have PCOS. If you have ovarian cysts, they may cause bloating and pelvic pain.

Symptoms caused by androgens

Women who have high blood levels of androgens develop symptoms such as hair loss, acne, and hirsutism. Hirsutism refers to excessive, dark hair growth on your face, chest, abdomen, or upper thighs.

Does PCOS cause health problems?

PCOS is strongly associated with:

  • Infertility
  • Weight gain
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease

Your risk of developing one or more of these conditions increases significantly if you have PCOS.

How do gynecologists evaluate PCOS?

The team at KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology performs a thorough evaluation to determine if you have PCOS and rule out any other reasons for your symptoms.

In addition to reviewing your medical history, your provider does a physical exam, looking for signs such as excess hair, acne, and hair loss. Then they complete a pelvic exam and order blood tests to check for hormone levels.

You may also need a diagnostic ultrasound to check your uterus and ovaries.

What type of treatment might I need for PCOS?

Your provider treats PCOS together with any underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Treatment for PCOS often includes lifestyle changes such as losing weight combined with medications. For example, your provider may prescribe medications to regulate your menstrual cycles, help you ovulate, and reduce excessive dark hair.

After you start treatment, your provider regularly follows up to check on your progress. Keeping PCOS well managed is essential to prevent chronic diseases and avoid infertility or high-risk pregnancy.

If you develop abnormal bleeding, irregular periods, pelvic pain, or hirsutism, call KEM Health Obstetrics & Gynecology or book an appointment online today.