Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects approximately 1 in 10 women during their reproductive years. This common disorder is due to imbalanced reproductive hormones affecting the ovaries. So, if you have PCOS, your ovaries may not be able to make eggs or release them properly during your menstrual cycle. This hormonal imbalance can lead to a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms and even risk your fertility.
At his clinic in White Plains, New York, Daniel Kushner, MD, understands the importance of diagnosing and treating hormonal imbalances, like PCOS, so you can lead the fullest life possible and protect your reproductive health.
How PCOS affects your health
The exact cause of PCOS isn’t known, but it’s typically a combination of factors that includes high levels of insulin and high levels of androgens. Insulin is a type of hormone that manages your blood sugar and androgens are a male hormone associated with masculine traits, like hair growth, hair loss, and acne.
If you suffer from PCOS, these hormonal imbalances often lead to a variety of symptoms that can affect your reproductive health and overall self-confidence, including:
- Excessive hair growth on the chin or face
- Hair growth on your body where men usually grow hair
- Lost or thinning hair on your head, or male-pattern baldness
- Darkening areas of your skin, especially under your breasts, in the groin, or along the creases of your neck
- Difficulty losing weight or weight gain
- Acne, especially on the upper back, chest, or face
- Flaps of skin around your neck or armpits, known as skin tags
- Irregular or missed periods
When you have irregular or missed periods because of PCOS, you’re also at risk of developing ovarian cysts and fertility issues; PCOS is a leading cause of infertility for women.
Managing PCOS to reduce your symptoms
While there isn’t a cure for PCOS, Dr. Kushner can provide a wide variety of treatments to balance your hormones and ease your symptoms. He often recommends a combination of therapies, including medications and lifestyle changes. Determining the best options to manage your condition depends on several factors, including your overall health, symptoms, and plans for having children in the future.
There are several types of medications to relieve PCOS symptoms, such as:
- Hormonal birth controls that address hormonal imbalances
- Anti-androgen medicines that block the effects of male sex hormones
- Metformin to manage blood sugar and reduce androgen levels
If PCOS is affecting your fertility, Dr. Kushner might also recommend medications to help stimulate your ovaries during ovulation.
In addition to medical treatments for managing your PCOS symptoms, Dr. Kushner can also suggest numerous lifestyle changes that can improve your condition. These often include losing weight, limiting carbohydrates, and exercising regularly to lower your blood glucose levels. When this occurs, your body can better use its insulin, which can help normalize your hormones.
If you’re struggling with excessive facial hair growth, Dr. Kushner might also recommend creams, laser hair removal, or prescription skin medications to slow its growth or eliminate it permanently.
If you’re suffering from PCOS, learn more about managing your symptoms by calling Daniel Kushner, MD, or scheduling an appointment online today.