PCOS – Day 14

This woman has polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal imbalance in women whose causes are not fully understood. PCOS affects 5-10% of women in their reproductive years in the United States, though it is estimated that 50% of cases are undiagnosed. Though some women are genetically predisposed, environmental and lifestyle factors certainly contribute to its incidence. 

Symptoms can include irregular periods, lack of ovulation (whether or not cyclical bleeding occurs), acne, weight gain, overgrowth of hair on face and body, thinning of hair on scalp, depression, and cysts on the ovaries. It is often associated with issues with normal blood sugar regulation (insulin resistance) and diabetes. This syndrome can affect and often decrease a woman’s fertility.

Lifestyle changes can help cure PCOS (like regular exercise, changes in diet, and weight control, blood sugar regulation, nutritional supplementation). For more information about holistic approaches to balancing PCOS which address underlying causes and interactions between various hormones in the body, click here.

Sometimes, doctors prescribe medicines help balance hormones. This woman is taking Metformin, a drug for diabetics that can restore menstrual cycles and fertility, and Clomid, a fertility drug used to induce ovulation in women who don’t ovulate.