Imagine being a young woman and suddenly developing cystic acne along your jawline, chest and/or back so severe you are embarrassed to go without wearing makeup or to wear a swimsuit. Imagine losing your hair the way men do or worse yet growing hair where they do—on your face, chest or abdomen. Imagine gaining weight without any explanation and only being told that you just need to exercise and eat better, but you already are.
You may be embarrassed to seek medical attention. But if you have these symptoms in addition to infrequent periods or irregular menstrual patterns, you may have a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
What is PCOS?
PCOS is an imbalance of reproductive hormones. It is estimated to affect one in 10 women of childbearing age.
Common symptoms include…
- Hair loss
- Excessive body hair
- Weight gain
- Skin tags
- Menstrual cycle changes—either less frequent or more frequent
- Recurrent ovarian cysts
- Darkening of the skin at the neck, groin, underarms, and under the breasts
PCOS usually develops during adolescence but most women are not diagnosed until their late 20s or 30s because symptoms may take time to develop and can vary widely from one woman to the next. To make a diagnosis even more challenge, the symptoms don’t always develop at once. Most women do not seek medical attention until they are trying to become pregnant, but a diagnosis can be made whenever the symptoms develop.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
A PCOS diagnosis is made through a detailed medical history, physical exam, pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound and blood tests. Establishing a diagnosis is important because PCOS women are at higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, sleep apnea, uterine cancer, depression and anxiety. Through proper education, lifestyle changes and medical management, the risks of these other diseases can be lessened and, in many cases, prevented.
What does Embrace Wellness do differently?
- We do investigate your symptoms regardless of age
- We do continue to evaluate you after pregnancies to prevent possible lifelong complications
- We treat your symptoms taking into consideration at which step in life you are—seeking or not seeking pregnancy
- We review your symptoms, assess key physical signs, evaluate your hormonal and fasting labs to identify any other underlying causes of your symptoms, and determine if your ovaries need imaging
What treatment options do we offer?
- Treatment is dependent on where you are at in your life—seeking pregnancy, not seeking pregnancy, preventing pregnancy or simply trying to improve your health
- Nutritional and exercise recommendations
- Hormonal support as either traditional birth control management as well as bio-identical hormone supplementation
- Supplements options to help lower testosterone to improve skin health and hair growth
Start living your best life today.
Educational and lifestyle changes are the keys to living with PCOS. All women are unique as are all women with PCOS. There is not one plan that fits every women dealing with PCOS. If you or your loved one is experiencing these symptoms, please contact our office for a thorough evaluation. Together, we can create a health care plan to address your individual PCOS concerns. Call today to schedule your consultation.