Who’s At Risk for PCOS?

Who’s At Risk for PCOS?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects about 15% of women during their childbreaing years, and it’s also the most common cause of female infertility. Yet many women don’t know about PCOS or how it could affect their lives. 

As a top-rated obstetrician and gynecologist in Newburgh, Indiana, Paul W. Morrison, M.D., helps women throughout the Evansville area understand the symptoms and risk factors associated with PCOS, so they can get care as early as possible. Here’s what he wants you to know about this relatively common medical problem.

PCOS risk factors

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that’s typically associated with the formation of many small cysts (fluid-filled sacs) inside the ovaries. Some research indicates that PCOS may be much more common than believed, affecting more than a quarter of women during their childbearing years. 

Even though researchers don’t know exactly what causes PCOS, they think it might be associated with other conditions. For example, women with PCOS also have a higher risk of having diabetes or being obese.

However, there’s debate about whether these factors increase the risk of developing PCOS or if the reverse is true, meaning PCOS may increase the risk of becoming obese or developing Type 2 diabetes. Other potential causes include hormonal imbalances, genetics, and lifestyle factors.

Symptoms of PCOS

Abnormal bleeding is one of the most common symptoms associated with PCOS. If you have PCOS, you may have heavy periods, and you may also pass blood clots. Because normal ovulation is disrupted, many women with PCOS have irregular periods, with periods occurring less frequently and on an unpredictable basis.

Although menstrual changes are very common, they’re not the only symptom caused by PCOS. Other symptoms include:

Some women have PCOS with very subtle symptoms or no symptoms at all. In these people, the first indication of the condition may be problems conceiving.

Treating PCOS

The primary treatment for PCOS is hormonal treatment, often through hormonal birth control methods, such as birth control pills. Other medications or treatment may be suggested for infertility problems or for stabilizing your hormones and your period-related symptoms.

In addition, Dr. Morrison may perform other health screenings to check for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and other potential complications that are more common among women with PCOS. If any of these complications are found, then he’ll prescribe appropriate treatment or refer you to a specialist. For example, if he detects heart-related problems, he’ll send you to a cardiologist.

If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, or if you’re experiencing the symptoms of PCOS, early treatment may help reduce your risk of developing serious complications. To learn how we can help, call 812-490-5200 or book an appointment online with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D., today.

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