What Happens When You Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Commonly known as PCOS, when you have polycystic ovary syndrome your ovaries produce more male hormones than normal causing cysts to grow on the ovaries. 

Often, our skin can tell us what is occurring inside our body. For women with PCOS, this may be associated with:

  • Acne
  • Dark patches on the skin
  • Irregular periods
  • Infertility
  • Pelvic pain
  • Excess hair growth on the face and body
  • Weight gain
  • Other skin issues 

You are more likely to suffer from PCOS if you are obese or your mother or sister has it.

How Do You Know If You Have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

The cause of PCOS is not entirely understood, but all fingers point at hormonal imbalances and insulin resistance making PCOS the most common cause of infertility. 

Besides increasing risks for infertility in women, PCOS can adversely affect a woman’s health by obstetrical complications, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The variation in characteristics of this syndrome makes it difficult to diagnose. The tests usually involve measuring levels of various hormones or an ultrasound of the ovaries. 

Diagnosing PCOS depends upon identifying whether you have:

  1. Androgen excess
  2. Disorders of ovulation 
  3. Polycystic ovaries

Skin manifestations of PCOS:

  1. Considered to be a hormonal pattern, PCOS-related acne hits the lower face, jawline, chin, upper neck. The lesions are deeper and slower to resolve and worsens around the time of periods. 
  2. Excessive hair growth known as hirsutism can be seen in places where hair is usually minimal like the chin, neck, abdomen, chest, back. Women also experience balding or thinning of the hair. 
  3. Some women also suffer from acanthosis nigricans that lead to dark, velvety areas of skin, usually in skin creases. 

How To Treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

When you have polycystic ovary syndrome, your first line of treatment begins with small lifestyle changes that can include prevention of excess weight gain and eating healthily. The treatment is individualized by holistic health experts depending on the prevailing symptoms. The focus can be on one of these issues or multiple issues including correcting irregular bleeding from the uterus, restoring fertility, improving the skin manifestations, hair loss, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. 

Associated with psychological, reproductive and metabolic features, PCOS is a common complex condition in women with manifestations across the lifespan. If not treated timely, it can become a major health and economic burden. 

Want to learn more about what happens when you have polycystic ovary syndrome? Get answers to your questions about polycystic ovary syndrome or find a holistic practitioner specific to your needs.