When it comes to female reproductive health, any little thing that happens (or doesn't happen) can be a sign of a much bigger problem. And some conditions affecting the female reproductive system have signs and symptoms that are easy to miss or mistake for other things - especially polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Here are three signs that you could have PCOS.
1. Missed periods
Generally speaking, if you only miss a period every now and then, that is not necessarily a sign you have PCOS. However, if you regularly miss periods or simply don't get one anymore and it's not because of birth control, then you should speak with your gynecologist about the possibility of PCOS.
When a woman's reproductive system is functioning correctly, an egg is released from the ovary and travels down the Fallopian tube where it will enter the uterus so it can be fertilized. If fertilization doesn't occur, then you get your menstrual period for the month because of the excess hormone, progesterone.
However, if you have PCOS, this doesn't happen. Instead of a mature egg being released from the ovary, the follicles turn into cysts on the ovary. Without this egg being released, there has not been any progesterone produced, so menstruation doesn't occur.
2. Excessive body hair
Another sign that you could have PCOS is having excessive body hair (hirsutism), especially on the face. The reason that women with PCOS have this excessive body hair growth is because their body produces too much of the male hormones called androgens.
This then leads to women growing a lot of hair in places that men normally do, like the face, chest, back, and stomach. It's an embarrassing problem, so many women don't talk about it with their gynecologist. However, because it can be a sign of PCOS, it is important that you talk with your doctor about it if you do have hirsutism.
3. Problems losing weight
Many women who have PCOS are also overweight. If you have tried losing weight and just can't, no matter how hard you try, then you should consult with your doctor about PCOS. The reason PCOS makes it so difficult for women to lose weight is because of insulin-resistance.
Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for converting sugars you eat into energy. If insulin fails to do that, then those sugars build up in your body and you don't get the extra energy - instead, it makes gaining weight a lot easier and can lead to other health problems like diabetes and high cholesterol.
These are just a few of the signs that you could have PCOS. However, it is important to know that these are symptoms of other conditions as well. For this reason, it is vital to discuss all of your symptoms with your gynecologist so that you can get an accurate diagnosis and begin effective treatment as soon as possible.
If you have further questions or want help, contact a company such as Desert Rose OBGYN PC to get more help.