Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a challenging condition that affects 10% of women, causing irregular menstrual periods and increasing their risk for infertility and serious health conditions. At Fort Wayne Endocrinology, Ashok Kadambi, MD, Desiree Heim, NP-C, and Crystal Webb, NP-C, specialize in comprehensive care for PCOS, from treating the complex hormonal imbalance to helping women lose the weight they often gain due to the condition. Don't wait to get help for PCOS. Call the office in Fort Wayne, Indiana, or book an appointment online today.
PCOS develops when you have an imbalance in androgens, a group of male hormones that includes testosterone. Women normally produce a small amount of androgens.
Androgens have a role in regulating the reproductive system, muscle tone, heart health, and bone mass in women. But when androgen levels get higher than normal, they interfere with ovulation and menstruation and cause a range of health problems.
Though PCOS causes a wide range of health complications, the condition is defined by having at least two of the following three primary symptoms:
Normal androgen levels help regulate egg maturation and the release of an egg from your ovary (ovulation). When you have PCOS, ovulation is disrupted. You might not ovulate, or you may occasionally release an egg.
These changes also affect your menstrual periods. Instead of normal, regular periods, you experience abnormal uterine bleeding. Your periods may be heavy, irregular, infrequent, or stop entirely.
Many women with PCOS develop multiple fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in their ovaries. The cysts may cause enlarged ovaries, pelvic pain, and abdominal bloating.
In addition to the impact on your ovaries, high levels of androgens cause symptoms such as hair loss, acne, and hirsutism. Hirsutism refers to the growth of dark, coarse hair in places where it doesn't typically grow in women, including their face, chest, abdomen, and upper thighs.
Women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing serious health complications, such as:
Abnormal androgen levels in women are directly associated with insulin resistance, the condition that leads to Type 2 diabetes.
PCOS treatment involves lifestyle changes and medications. Following a balanced eating plan, getting exercise, and losing weight can improve insulin and cholesterol levels and lower your blood pressure.
If lifestyle changes don't improve those underlying conditions, you may need medications to get them within the normal range. Fort Wayne Endocrinology also offers a medically supervised weight loss program.
Medications for PCOS regulate your hormone levels and restore regular ovulation and menstruation. Your provider may prescribe a range of possible hormone-based and non-hormonal medications that help to regulate your hormones and trigger ovulation.
If you have irregular periods or androgen-based symptoms, don't wait to seek help. Early treatment that restores hormonal balance can prevent health complications.
To schedule an appointment for PCOS, call Fort Wayne Endocrinology or use the online booking feature today.