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Women with PCOS


Updated April 06, 2010

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Question: Women with PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is one of the most common hormonal syndromes affecting women of child-bearing age. Yet, most people have never heard of PCOS, unless someone they know has it. Quite often, women are diagnosed in either adolescence or early adulthood. Women with PCOS often have many issues that need to be addressed.

Infertility, or difficulty getting pregnant, is what commonly initiates the discussion about PCOS. This is due to the woman having irregular cycles, an indication that she is not ovulating. Ovulation, of course, is necessary for conception. Fortunately, infertility is often managed through various medication regimens to help the woman ovulate. Sometimes, in vitro fertilization may be indicated as another form of treatment.

Other symptoms of PCOS may include abnormal hair growth, adult acne and even hair loss.

It may be a challenge to find a treatment plan that can reduce all of those symptoms. Sometimes effective treatment may require a great deal of time (ie: multiple applications of medication, time dedicated to hair removal) or can be expensive if the medications are not covered by insurance or if multiple treatments are needed.

Struggles with weight gain are very common in women with PCOS. Many women with PCOS eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, but still have a problem with weight. Obviously, this is not a simple issue of caloric intake and lack of adequate activity. There is something about the way that their bodies process the food and calories that they consume that makes it difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight. This can be incredibly frustrating. Some researchers have theorized that this phenomenon is a result of insulin resistance, which is very common in women with PCOS.

There are many different treatments available to help women with PCOS manage the symptoms. Having an open discussion with your doctor about your options is the first step in finding one that works. Check out About.com’s UCompare HealthCare to find a specialist near you.

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