Polycystic ovaries can have a big impact on your health and fertility. You may have an irregular menstrual cycle, fertility problems, and symptoms such as hair growth caused by raised levels of male hormones.
Treatment can relieve these symptoms and increase your chances of conceiving naturally if you decide to grow your family. You should see a gynaecologist if you are experiencing any kind of menstrual problems or other possible symptoms of PCOS.
What Causes Polycystic Ovaries?
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) happens when lots of tiny fluid-filled sacs form in your ovaries.
- The sacs appear when the follicles that surround your eggs fail to develop properly.
- The reasons why this happen are not fully understood, but it may be linked to your hormone levels. Polycystic ovaries are often linked with high levels of male hormones like testosterone.
Symptoms of Polycystic Ovaries
The symptoms of polycystic ovaries usually first appear when you are in your late teens or early twenties. Possible effects of polycystic ovaries include:
- Irregular periods or your period stopping completely
- Difficult getting pregnant as your ovaries are unable to release eggs each month
- Excessive hair growth on the face and body, which is linked to the higher levels of male hormones.
- The hair on your head becoming thinner.
- Oily or spotty skin
- Women with PCOS may also be at higher risk of developing problems such as high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
Diagnosing Polycystic Ovaries
If you have any of the symptoms of PCOS, it is a good idea to speak to a gynaecologist. It is particularly important to find out what is causing menstrual problems as they could affect your fertility. When you see the gynaecologist:
- You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history.
- The doctor will usually perform a blood test to check for high levels of male hormones.
- You may also need an ultrasound scan to confirm the presence of large numbers of follicles in your ovaries.
- Additional tests may also be performed to rule out other conditions and check your general health.
Treatment for Polycystic Ovaries
Although there is not yet a cure for PCOS, there are treatments that can help to relieve your symptoms.
- One of the best ways to reduce the symptoms of PCOS is to improve your diet and lifestyle. Losing any excess weight should help you to feel better. Eating well and getting regular exercise will also help improve your symptoms.
- Medication can help with many of the symptoms, including irregular periods, acne, excessive hairiness and hair loss.
- Additional treatment may be needed to increase the chances of ovulation if you are trying to get pregnant with PCOS.
- In some cases, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling. The operation can eliminate some of the tissue in your ovaries that is producing male hormones, which could restore your hormone levels so that your ovaries can function normally.
If you have noticed changes in your menstrual cycle or other symptoms of PCOS, you should see a gynaecologist. It is easy to arrange a telephone consultation or to make an appointment with the experienced gynaecologists at the Lotus Klinik by phone or using the online form.