Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

What is PCOS?

It is a metabolic condition which causes irregular menses, acne, excess hair growth and is often associated with excess weight or obesity.

What causes PCOS?

Testosterone and insulin levels are higher in women with PCOS. This may result in irregular ovulation and infrequent menses.


What is PCOS associated with?

PCOS increases your risk of:

  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • eating disorders
  • mood disorders like depression or anxiety


How is PCOS diagnosed?

Tests include:

  • blood tests to check for hormonal levels, blood sugar and insulin levels and cholesterol
  • pelvic ultrasound


What is the role of weight loss in PCOS?

Losing just 5-10% of your body weight can improve many of your symptoms. It is very helpful to have regular cardiovascular exercise and diet plan with a dietician to achieve this goal.

How can I get pregnant?

This is possible for women with PCOS but it is easier for women who are not overweight. Losing some weight is likely to help your cycles normalize. If you lose weight but still have irregular periods, ovulation induction medications can help you get pregnant easier.


Infrequent periods
excessive hair growth on the face
hair loss
difficulty in getting pregnant
weight gain and obesity


How is PCOS treated?

It is important PCOS is treated holistically including behavioral management to reduce risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome in the future.

Common treatment options would include:

  • the birth control pill which reduces the risk of cancer of the uterus, regulates the menstrual cycles, improves acne and reduces facial hair
  • anti androgens
  • progestins
  • Mirena device
  • Metformin and other insulin sensitisers

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