Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition in women that’s the culmination of an imbalance in reproductive hormones, which ultimately leads to ovarian issues. There are a host of factors that could influence one’s likelihood of developing the condition, but what are the exact causes that could lead to its development?
The Office on Women’s Health lists two major causes behind PCOS:
High insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone in control of converting food into energy; when your body becomes resistant to insulin, your cells can’t normally respond to it, resulting in high levels of insulin in the blood. Many women with PCOS–especially those who are overweight or obese, eat unhealthily, have a family history of diabetes, or don’t get enough physical activity–also have insulin resistance.
High levels of androgens, aka male hormones. Despite their colloquial name, all women make androgens in nominal amounts. These hormones are in charge of developing male traits, like male-pattern baldness, and women who have PCOS have higher levels of androgens than those who don’t have the condition. If a woman has heightened levels of androgens, this could prevent ovulation, as well as cause acne and excessive hair growth–two potential signs of PCOS.
If you do get diagnosed with PCOS, there are treatment options. What treatment plan your physician suggests for you will be tailored to fit your individual PCOS-related concerns, which could vary from acne to hirsutism (male-pattern hair growth) to infertility. There are a variety of medications and therapy regimens that can help regulate your menstrual cycle and aid in ovulation, as well as potentially curb hirsutism. You may also opt for laser hair removal for the latter.
The Ezra pelvic, torso, and full-body MRIs screen your ovaries for cancerous and precancerous states, as well as other conditions such as PCOS. For more information on our screening options, you may follow this link.