Polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or “PCOS,” is a medical condition that can cause irregular menstrual periods, acne, extra facial hair, or hair loss. It is quite common, with about 5 to 8 percent of all women having PCOS. Most, but not all, people with PCOS have overweight or obesity. The condition can also make it difficult to get pregnant and increases the risk of other health problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol levels, sleep apnea, eating disorders such as binge eating or bulimia, depression or anxiety.
The management of PCOS requires treatment of individual components of the syndrome and determining whether the woman is pursuing pregnancy or not. At GDI, our first step those women with overweight and obesity and PCOS are lifestyle interventions using weight loss strategies comprising mainly calorie-restricted diets combined with increased physical activity. Even modest weight loss of 5 to 10 percent has been associated with an improvement in metabolic status and resumption of ovulation.
We have a weight management program in place that offers flexible meal planning and personalized macronutrient goals. We also have a registered dietician in our office that can help you learn strategies for losing weight and most importantly keeping it off. There are treatments that can help with symptoms of unwanted facial hair and improve insulin resistance, too. For women pursuing pregnancy there are ovulation induction agents that can be used. It is crucial that you are directed towards the appropriate resources at the right time. It is important to see an endocrinologist and discuss treatment options depending on your goals.