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Signs and Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is an endocrine condition in women of reproductive age, where the ovaries develop numerous small cysts along the outer edge of each ovary. The cysts themselves are unlikely to cause problems, but the hormones that trigger their growth may cause problems elsewhere in the body. Women with PCOS produce relatively high levels of testosterone, which disrupts levels of other hormones in the body. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome below.

The Common Signs and Symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are:

  • Unwanted hair growth on the face, chest, buttocks, and torso
  • Thinning of the hair on the head
  • Acne
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility
  • Infrequent menstrual periods
  • Prolonged menstrual periods

Many women with PCOS don’t know they have it. If you have a history of skipped menstrual periods that are followed by serious acne outbreaks, make an appointment to see an endocrinologist. This is a classic symptom of PCOS. If you have hair growth on the face or body and thinning hair on the head, you could have PCOS.

Early diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome may help reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Diagnosis of Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome

There is no specific test for the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome. A diagnosis of PCOS is done through a medical history, a physical examination, blood tests to measure the levels of several hormones, blood tests for cholesterol and elevated triglycerides, and a pelvic ultrasound.

Doctors often advise women with PCOS to take metformin (Glucophage), an insulin-regulating drug that is commonly used to treat diabetes. Women who take it can often normalize their menstrual cycles. They may also see a reversal in weight gain or unwanted hair growth.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The Ultimate PCOS Handbook: Lose Weight, Boost Fertility, Clear Skin and Restore Self-Esteem
Theresa Francis-Cheung
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Woman’s Guide to Identifying & Managing PCOS
John Eden

The PCOS Workbook: Your Guide to Complete Physical and Emotional Health
Angela Grassi
The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Hillary Wright

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Resources

General Patient Resources

  • PCOSupport

This organization is a grass-roots, volunteer-based organization, operated by and for women with PCOS and their families.

  • Pub Med Central

Polycystic ovary syndrome: a complex condition with psychological, reproductive and metabolic manifestations that impacts on health across the lifespan.

  • Net Doctor

Get expert advice on what polycystic ovary syndrome is, how it’s diagnosed, what else it could be and what treatments are available.

  • Right Diagnosis

Information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention, and prognosis.

  • Med Help – PCOS Forum

This forum was created for women like us who suffer from the symptoms of having PCOS. Together we can share our experiences and knowledge of what we already know and we can also learn a few things from other members as well.

  • Christian Forums

A forum for those with PCOS.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment of this common hormonal disorder.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US national Library of Medicine

  • Web MD

Topic overview including definition of PCOS, symptoms, treatment overview, and more.