Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a surprisingly common medical problem for many women in their child-bearing years. In fact, it affects as many as 10% of American women ages 15-44. If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, you’re probably wondering about how it might affect your health — and whether it can be cured.
Unfortunately, PCOS can’t currently be cured. However, it can be treated. Top-rated gynecologist Paul W. Morrison, M.D., has extensive experience in both diagnosing and treating PCOS at his practice in Newburgh, Indiana, which serves the Evansville area. Here’s what he wants you to know about this relatively common medical problem and how it’s treated.
Polycystic ovary syndrome happens when a woman’s ovaries produce an overabundance of hormones called androgens. These androgens then interfere with the woman's normal hormonal cycles. The cause of PCOS isn’t well-understood, but some data indicate it might be related to genetics or problems with the way the body produces and uses a hormone called insulin.
Polycystic ovary syndrome can cause a number of symptoms, including:
Polycystic ovary syndrome is also a common cause of female infertility, and it can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes.
Although researchers continue to make advances in their understanding of PCOS, right now there is no cure. However, there are a number of treatments that can be very effective in managing PCOS symptoms.
Dr. Morrison tailors treatment to each woman’s symptoms and unique needs. If you have PCOS, your treatment might include:
Many women benefit from a combination of therapies adjusted over time as their personal needs and symptoms evolve.
Polycystic ovary syndrome has a direct effect on ovulation, which means it can also interfere with your ability to get pregnant. If PCOS affects your ability to conceive, Dr. Morrison might recommend medications that can promote ovulation, or he might recommend other fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
It’s also important to know that while there’s no medical cure for PCOS, many women find their symptoms go away once they reach menopause. That’s likely because during menopause, your hormone levels change and you no longer ovulate.
If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, or if you’ve noticed symptoms associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, it’s very important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can find ways to relieve your symptoms and manage the risks and complications associated with PCOS.
To learn more, call 812-490-5200 or book an appointment online with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D., today.