PCOS Doctor in Austin, TX
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Specialist in Austin, TX
PCOS Q & A
What is PCOS?
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is a complex disorder that affects women during their childbearing years. Women with PCOS typically have higher-than-normal levels of the male hormone androgen, which causes prolonged, irregular, or infrequent menstruation.
In addition, you might have excess body and facial hair (hirsutism) or male pattern baldness. Severe acne and weight gain are also common symptoms of PCOS. Cysts (fluid-filled sacs) might form on your ovaries, although not every woman develops them.
PCOS also has links to insulin resistance, which raises your blood sugar levels and can lead to Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes (high blood sugar during pregnancy).
What problems can PCOS cause?
PCOS is a factor in a wide range of disorders. You might experience some or many of the following:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Depression or anxiety
- Eating disorders
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Premature birth
- Metabolic syndrome
- Severe liver inflammation
- Endometrial cancer
Infertility is also a common issue for women with PCOS.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
No lab test can confirm a diagnosis of PCOS. Your OB/GYN at Women’s Health Domain goes over your symptoms and medical history and then performs an internal exam to look for any abnormalities.
Blood tests are useful for measuring your androgen and insulin levels. Your OB/GYN is also likely to check for high blood sugar and high levels of triglycerides (a kind of fat). A transvaginal ultrasound provides images of your reproductive organs and shows if there are any cysts present.
How is PCOS treated?
There’s no cure for PCOS, but the Women’s Health Domain OB/GYNs can help you manage the condition and reduce its effects.
Healthy lifestyle changes are essential for relieving PCOS symptoms. That means eating a well-balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking. Losing weight also helps but may be challenging, as weight gain is a symptom of PCOS.
Hormone therapies can help, making it easier for you to lose weight and helping to regulate your menstrual cycle. Your OB/GYN can also prescribe medications to help you ovulate if you plan to start a family. If you have Type 2 diabetes, lifestyle changes also help you control your blood sugar. You might need medications for diabetes as well.
To benefit from expert PCOS diagnosis and care, call Women’s Health Domain today or book an appointment online.