PCOS: Is It the Reason You Have Irregular Periods?

PCOS: Is It the Reason You Have Irregular Periods?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is extremely common — in fact, it’s the most common hormonal problem in women of reproductive age, according to the National Library of Medicine. PCOS causes a lot of uncomfortable symptoms, with irregular periods topping the list.

Women's Health Services is a top-rated provider of PCOS treatment for women in Arlington, Texas. To mark PCOS Awareness Month, our team offers this brief overview of polycystic ovarian syndrome, including its symptoms and management, to help our patients take charge of their healthy futures.

Quick facts about PCOS

PCOS is a condition that occurs when your ovaries make too many hormones — specifically, hormones called androgens that are most closely associated with male sex characteristics. Women also have androgens, but at a much lower level than those produced in women with PCOS.

These androgens interfere with normal ovulation, resulting in abnormal periods. Not surprisingly, since PCOS interferes with ovulation (or even prevents it entirely), many women with PCOS also have trouble getting pregnant. 

The name “polycystic ovarian syndrome” refers to the numerous tiny cysts that often form on the ovaries due to PCOS. However, you can have PCOS even if no cysts are present.

Researchers aren’t sure why PCOS happens, but they do know it tends to be more common among people with a family history of PCOS. It’s also more common among women who are obese or who have insulin resistance.

PCOS symptoms

Aside from irregular periods and problems getting pregnant, PCOS can cause symptoms like:

Our team will perform a complete physical exam as part of your PCOS evaluation and diagnosis, often ordering additional lab tests to rule out other potential causes, like thyroid disorders or adrenal gland disorders.

Managing PCOS symptoms

So far, there isn’t a single, specific treatment for PCOS. Instead, treatment typically focuses on managing specific symptoms. At Women’s Health Services, our team offers targeted, tailored care based on each woman’s unique needs and goals.

Hormonal birth control often plays a role for women with irregular periods who aren’t planning on getting pregnant soon. Other medications can help manage insulin resistance or hair loss. For women having difficulty getting pregnant, fertility drugs may play a role in treatment, along with other fertility treatment options, when needed. 

Lifestyle changes also play a very important role in symptom management. Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, learning to manage stress, and prioritizing sleep can all help. If you’re dealing with anxiety or depression, therapy, and medication are other possibilities.

Custom treatment for your PCOS symptoms

Left untreated, PCOS can cause serious problems, increasing your risks of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular problems, and uterine cancer. Women with PCOS also tend to suffer more from depressionanxiety, and sleep problems.

If you have irregular periods or any other symptoms of PCOS, don’t put off seeking treatment. Call 817-277-9415 or book an appointment online with the Women’s Health Services team today.

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