Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Quiz

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Reviewed By:

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), Critical Care)

Current Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow with Dual board certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Critical Care Medicine. | 5+ years experience managing a general Ob/Gyn practice and working in the Intensive Care Unit. | Previously Physician Lead of a large single specialty practice with 8 Physicians and 10+ Advanced practitioners. | Member of the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine Patient education committee. | Frequent Medscape Consult contributor.

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN))

Dr. Kanazawa graduated from the Niigata University Faculty of Medicine and received his Ph.D. from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. He is working on the front line of the General Perinatal Center, including the Tokyo Tama General Medical Center and the National Center for Research in Fertility Medicine, where he provides maternal and fetal care and undertakes clinical research. At Ubie, Dr. Kanazawa has been designing the Ubie AI Symptom Checker and has taken on the role of general obstetrics and gynecology consultation at FMC Tokyo Clinic by providing fetal ultrasound and prenatal consultation.

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  • Excessive hair growth on the body

  • Hirsutism

  • My voice is changing

  • Thick, dark hair on face, neck, chest, tummy, lower back, buttocks or thighs

  • Bleeding between periods

  • My voice is lower than normal

  • Bloody vaginal discharge

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Learn more about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Content updated on Jan 19, 2024

What is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a condition that can affect women during their reproductive years. It is generally diagnosed when women have irregular periods (menstrual cycles) along with features of excess male hormones (androgens). Patients typically have evidence of abnormal hair growth on their face, chest or abdomen. They can have multiple cysts (fluid sacs) on their ovaries when looked at by ultrasound, but this is not required. Patients with obesity have an increased risk for PCOS. The exact cause is unknown, but it can run in families and is related to hormonal imbalances (estrogen, insulin, testosterone etc).

Symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

  • Excessive hair growth on the body

  • Long intervals between periods e.g. 39 days or more

  • Voice has become lower, deeper

  • Bleeding in between menstrual cycles / periods or after menopause

  • Abnormal menstrual cycles e.g. too early or too late

  • Pimples / Acne

  • Hair loss

  • Mental stress or physical exhaustion

Questions your doctor may ask to check for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

  • Has your body hair thickened recently?

  • Is your menstrual cycle infrequent?

  • Has your voice gotten deeper lately?

  • Have you experienced vaginal bleeding or discharge outside of your periods or after menopause?

  • Do you have irregular periods?

Treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

The diagnosis must first be confirmed and other conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disorders must be ruled out. With PCOS, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, correcting diabetes and eating better can help. Many patients will need hormonal medications to control their menstrual cycle and reduce future risks. Treatment also can be used to reduce symptoms, such as laser or cream for hair removal. If fertility is desired, the specialist may advise on medications or minor surgeries to improve fertility. If fertility medicines are not effective, surgical procedures may be recommended. Many women can get pregnant with PCOS, sometimes with needed treatment.

View the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Diseases related to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

References

User testimonials

Reviewed By:

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD

Ravi P. Chokshi, MD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), Critical Care)

Current Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow with Dual board certification in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Critical Care Medicine. | 5+ years experience managing a general Ob/Gyn practice and working in the Intensive Care Unit. | Previously Physician Lead of a large single specialty practice with 8 Physicians and 10+ Advanced practitioners. | Member of the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine Patient education committee. | Frequent Medscape Consult contributor.

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD (Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN))

Dr. Kanazawa graduated from the Niigata University Faculty of Medicine and received his Ph.D. from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. He is working on the front line of the General Perinatal Center, including the Tokyo Tama General Medical Center and the National Center for Research in Fertility Medicine, where he provides maternal and fetal care and undertakes clinical research. At Ubie, Dr. Kanazawa has been designing the Ubie AI Symptom Checker and has taken on the role of general obstetrics and gynecology consultation at FMC Tokyo Clinic by providing fetal ultrasound and prenatal consultation.

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