Although most women have heard of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), many don’t fully understand this condition and how it affects a woman’s body. Research into PCOS is ongoing, but it’s thought that there is a genetic cause, which means you’re more likely to have it if your mother or a sister has it. PCOS can cause irregular periods and severe acne, and it can affect ovulation and fertility.
Dr. Daniel S. Kushner is a highly skilled and experienced OB/GYN with medical offices in White Plains and Queens, New York. He and his friendly and competent staff offer the latest effective treatment options for PCOS. Here, he explains the syndrome and the effect it can have on your fertility.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common condition that affects 7%-10% of women of childbearing age. Caused by a hormonal imbalance, it can affect a woman’s appearance, cause bothersome symptoms, and impact fertility. Though PCOS can’t be cured, it’s a treatable condition that can be managed through lifestyle changes and medication.
With PCOS, a hormone imbalance causes a woman’s reproductive system to function abnormally. A woman’s ovaries produce several hormones — chemicals that control many bodily functions — including estrogen and androgen. In women with PCOS, the ovaries typically produce more androgens and sometimes less estrogen than normal.
These hormone imbalances can cause a number of symptoms, though not all women experience the same ones. These symptoms can include irregular and abnormally heavy periods, excess body and facial hair, severe acne, and difficulty ovulating.
Does PCOS impact fertility?
Ovulation is part of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Each month, one of your ovaries releases an egg, which if fertilized by sperm travels to your uterus to grow. PCOS can affect how a woman ovulates, or she may not ovulate at all. Menstrual cycles can be very irregular, which can make getting pregnant much more difficult.
PCOS affects different women in different ways. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a qualified OB/GYN to fully understand how PCOS affects your own body. Dr. Kushner reviews your medical history, conducts physical and pelvic exams, and may order blood tests and a pelvic ultrasound. This allows him to have a full understanding of your situation before making a diagnosis and considering treatments.
Treating and managing your PCOS symptoms
Dr. Kushner develops a care plan for PCOS that’s tailored to your exact needs. If you hope to get pregnant, he works with you to find treatment options that can improve your chances of conceiving.
To learn more about PCOS and treatment options, call the office nearest you to set up an appointment. You can also use our easy online appointment booking system anytime.