How would I know if I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
The diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can be most accurately made by a doctor who will examine you and order certain blood tests and other investigations. The symptoms of PCOS may or may not be definitive at times. If you have PCOS, you may experience the following:
- Irregular or absent monthly periods
- Thinning of scalp hair
- Hirsutism (excessive hair growth on the face and body)
- Acanthosis nigricans (darkening of the skin, especially along the neck creases, in the groin, and under the breasts
- Skin tags (small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area)
- Weight gain or difficulty in losing weight
- Infertility or difficulty in conceiving
For the diagnosis of PCOS, your doctor will look for the presence of at least two of the following three symptoms:
- Irregular or absent monthly periods, which is caused by the lack of ovulation
- Higher-than-normal levels of androgens (male hormones), which can cause excessive hair growth on the face and body, acne, or thinning of scalp hair
- Multiple small cysts on the ovaries seen on ultrasonography (imaging studies)
Two of the aforementioned three criteria are essential for the diagnosis of PCOS. The mere presence of cysts is not enough because many women without PCOS may have ovarian cysts. Additionally, many women who have PCOS may not have cysts in their ovaries.
What exactly is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the commonest treatable causes of infertility. It is a medical condition that causes imbalances in the reproductive hormones in women. Ovaries are almond-shaped organs that are part of the reproductive system in women. They make the egg that is released every month during the menstrual cycle. Hormonal imbalance in PCOS affects the ovaries. Thus, in PCOS, the egg may not develop or may not be released normally.
PCOS is a common condition affecting 1 in 10 women. It is also one of the most common causes of infertility in women, affecting around five million women in the United States. Women with PCOS may have irregular periods, infertility, acne, thinning of hair, and weight gain. Irregular periods affect the ability to conceive and cause the development of small fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in the ovaries.
Can a woman with PCOS get pregnant?
Yes, a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can get pregnant. PCOS is a very common but treatable cause of infertility affecting around five million women in the United States. With proper lifestyle management (healthy diet and physical activity) and medications, women with PCOS can get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby.
Hormonal imbalance in women with PCOS interferes with the growth and release of the ovum (egg) from the ovaries (ovulation). Ovulation is necessary for a woman to get pregnant. If you have PCOS and wish to conceive, you must consult your doctor. They may prescribe you treatment to help you ovulate and increase your chances of conceiving.
You can use an ovulation calculator to know the days you are most likely to be fertile. During the typical menstrual cycle of around 28 days, although it varies in different women, there are about six days when you can get pregnant (the fertile window). The ovulation calculator helps you to know your fertile window and increases your likelihood of getting pregnant.
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Can I Get Pregnant With PCOS Naturally?PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that affects reproductive-aged women. Having PCOS does not mean natural conception is impossible. PCOS is common and treatable for women with fertility issues.
Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Can I Get Pregnant With PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) Naturally?What to know about getting pregnant naturally with PCOS. Learn about the possibilities, risks, and things to consider if you have PCOS.
Ovarian Cancer SlidesOvarian cancer symptoms and signs include abdominal pain, bloating, frequent urination, and a feeling of fullness. Ovarian cancer treatment depends on the stage and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy.
What Are Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Symptoms?Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms including irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. Treatment of PCOS depends partially on the woman's stage of life and the symptoms of PCOS.
What Causes PCOS?Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that causes imbalances in the reproductive hormones in women.
What Happens When You Get Pregnant With PCOS?Women with PCOS have irregular periods, and some have numerous small cysts on the ovaries that can affect fertility. Pregnant women with PCOS may experience complications during pregnancy.