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5 Major Signs You May Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

5 Major Signs You May Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

As many as 1 in 10 women of childbearing age suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This condition is a leading cause of female infertility and is characterized by irregular periods, excess male hormones, and cysts on the ovaries.

At Capital Women’s Care, the team of experienced OB/GYNs diagnose and help you manage symptoms of PCOS. There is no cure for the condition, but treatments from a qualified OB/GYN help many women with PCOS overcome infertility and go on to have a healthy pregnancy as well as control symptoms like weight gain and hair loss.

If you come to our office with any of the following five signs, we’ll order screening tests, blood tests, and a physical exam to evaluate you for PCOS.

1. Irregular menses

The average female menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days, but anything from 21-35 days is considered normal. Your period, the time you bleed, typically lasts 2-7 days. 

If your menstrual cycle occurs more frequently than every 21 days, less frequently than every 35 days, or your bleeding is especially heavy or lasts longer than seven days, it could be a sign of a gynecological condition like polycystic ovaries. 

2. Difficulty losing weight

If you’re gaining weight or having trouble losing weight, despite watching what you eat and exercising, it could be a sign of PCOS. The condition makes it harder for the body to use insulin, a hormone that converts glucose from the foods you eat into energy. 

When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, a woman ends up producing more male hormones, or androgens, that can lead to weight gain. This also explains the association between PCOS and Type 2 diabetes. 

Weight gain associated with PCOS usually concentrates in the abdomen, where men tend to carry excess pounds. 

3. Hair loss or abnormal hair growth

The increased androgens produced when you have PCOS alters your hair growth. You may experience thinning hair on your head in a pattern that resembles male baldness. 

Hair instead tends to grow in areas like your upper lip and chin, also a male-pattern of growth. About 70% of women with PCOS have this excess hair growth, called hirsutism. 

4. Skin changes 

Your skin can also show signs of PCOS. These signs include acne on your face and torso and skin tags — excess flaps of skin on the armpits or neck area. Women with PCOS sometimes experience darkening of the skin in areas like under the breast, the creases of the groin, and along the neck.  

5. Infertility

Many women with PCOS don’t find out they have the condition until they try to conceive a child. PCOS is diagnosed in 80% of cases in which a woman has a lack of a period or irregular periods and is having trouble getting pregnant. 

But know this: You can overcome infertility due that comes from PCOS, and many women go on to have a healthy baby and a thriving family. We can help.

If you have symptoms that suggest PCOS, contact Capital Women’s Care. The practice is committed to women’s health. The professional, compassionate team in Silver Spring and Laurel, Maryland, is ready to see you. Contact us by calling or using this website to request an appointment.

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