Polycystic ovary syndrome
What is polycystic ovary syndrome?
Polycystic ovaries (PCOS) is a women's health condition that affects the ovaries by preventing them from releasing eggs. The ovaries aren't actually covered in cysts, but they contain several follicles which are undeveloped sacs which eggs develop inside of. As the sacs are underdeveloped they don't always release eggs and therefore prevent ovulation.
What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome?
Some people do not have any symptoms, however the most commonly described are:
Irregular periods due to ovulation not always happening
Trouble getting pregnant
Excessive hair growth on the tummy, chest, back and face
How is polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosed?
There are three main features of PCOS and you need at least 2 of them to be diagnosed. These are:
Too much androgen hormone which is diagnosed with a blood test
Your ovaries are enlarged and contain several follicles, which is diagnosed with an ultrasound
How is polycystic ovary syndrome treated?
The symptoms of PCOS can be treated with medicines such as contraceptive and lifestyle changes. Sometimes surgery can be performed to remove the tissue that produces androgens.