Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex metabolic and hormonal condition that affects about 5-10% of people with female anatomy in the US.
While it is common, it does not affect every person the same and therefore, requires a closer look to the root cause and individualized treatment options.
What is PCOS?
In polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) the ovaries do not work normally leading to hormonal imbalances that affect ovulation and can increase in the amount of testosterone that circulates in the body.
What are the most common symptoms of PCOS?
Irregular periods (having fewer than 8 periods/year)
Extra hair growth that is thick and dark to the face, sideburn area, chest or lower belly
Hair loss from the head
Mood changes, like depression
Trouble getting pregnant
How can PCOS be diagnosed?
PCOS can be diagnosed based upon your symptoms and a physical evaluation, as well as, laboratory tests that measure levels of hormone and blood sugar. Sometimes, a pelvic ultrasound is used which may show polycystic ovaries.
What can be done to treat PCOS?
Many cases of PCOS go unnoticed or are mild enough to be managed without using medication, by optiziming sleep, supporting gut health, maintaining blood sugar balance and reducing stressors. However, if your symptoms are severe and bothersome, there are many safe and effective treatment options that help control the symptoms of PCOS, including non-hormonal and hormonal therapies, nutrition and lifestyle modifications, as well as natural herbs and supplements.