This information is mainly for women who are experiencing difficulty getting pregnant as well as women done having babies and having irregular menstrual bleeding, acne, excess body hair growth, and/or difficulty losing weight.
•menstrual period becoming irregular with or without difficulty getting pregnant.•menses are prolonged or infrequent over the last several months.•unwanted or excess hair growth on upper lip, chin, between breasts, on the lower abdomen, or the inner thighs.•acne.•consistent weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
How pcos occurs
•the pituitary gland secretes high levels of lh (luteinizing hormone) and the ovaries make excess androgens such as testosterone.•these increased hormone levels disrupt the normal menstrual cycle, interfere with ovulation, and lead to excess body hair and acne.•when ovulation does not occur, the egg is not released from the follicle and it forms a small cyst along the outer edge of the ovary, forming the “polycystic” appearing ovary.•it should be noted that all women diagnosed with pcos do not have polycystic appearing ovaries.
How we treat pcos
If you have pcos symptoms and live in virginia beach, norfolk, chesapeake, portsmouth or hampton roads, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our gyn doctors or nurse practitioner. Our gyn clinic will take a complete history of your menstrual cycle, pregnancies, recent weight changes, medical problems including diabetes, family history, medications you take, and surgeries you have had.
We will also perform a physical examination including a blood pressure check, weight, pelvic examination, blood tests, and possibly a vaginal ultrasound (likely done as a second visit).
Your gyn doctor will explain everything that is being done and why it is necessary. Once the test results have returned, you will have a follow-up appointment with your gynecologist to go over the results and come up with a treatment plan that resolves your problem in a way that works for you.
If the goal is a pregnancy, we will work with you to achieve that goal. Our treatment would likely include medication such as clomid to induce ovulation. That can be done through a reproductive endocrinologist. Anything more involved than clomid would need to be done through a specialist your gynecologist would recommend.
If the goal is to regulate your menstrual cycle and bring a little predictability back to your life, we can help with that as well. That can be done with oral contraceptives, the nuvaring, or taking progesterone for 10-14 days each month if you prefer to avoid a birth control pill.
If the goal is to treat the excess androgens and reduce excess body hair growth, we can treat that with a medication called aldactone. It is actually a diuretic, but it has been successful in several patients with slowing regrowth of hair after it has been removed by other means.
But first we need to determine what is causing the problem. Perhaps it is pcos, but there are other possibilities as well.
More about pcos
Pcos is associated with diabetes and excess insulin production (also known as insulin resistance). Some patients who are diagnosed with pcos may already have diabetes and some may be at risk for it in the future. This is important to know so it can be periodically screened for. We see a fair amount of women in india who fall into this category.
There is also research being done to determine if pcos is hereditary. Therefore, if your mother or sister has pcos, you may be at increased risk too. The final results of that research have not yet been released.
It is not normal, nor is it safe, to skip periods unless it is medically supervised by your gyn doctor. If your body is not having regular menstrual bleeding, you need to have that checked by a gynecologist. If it is not caused by menopause or by hormone manipulation prescribed by your doctor, you could be at risk for cancer of the uterus.
Pcos patients need to talk to their gynecologist and have a plan for having regular menstrual bleeds in order to prevent the risk of uterine cancer that can be associated with skipping periods. Women are sometimes so happy to not “deal with” bleeding, they do not stop to think about how they could be affecting their body. Please take this as a reminder -- it is not safe.
If you may be suffering from pcos symptoms, please schedule a consultation to discuss your symptoms and get a diagnosis. Once we know what we are dealing with, then the treatment plan is much easier to establish.