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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a women hormonal disorder that interferes with normal reproductive processes. Women who have PCOS develop an irregular period, which usually starts at puberty. There is no exact cause for PCOS, research is ongoing. Some factors may play a role in the development of the disorder such as excess insulin/androgen, heredity and low-grade inflammation. Long-term complications can occur such as infertility, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Signs & Symptoms

PCOS commonly develops during puberty around the first menstrual period. It is possible for the disorder to develop later in life in response to substantial weight gain.

Symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods or no period at all
  • Infertility
  • Obesity
  • Excess androgen – elevated levels of male hormones may result in abnormal hair growth, male-pattern baldness and acne.
  • Oily skin/hair
  • Tendency to develop type 2 diabetes


A thorough physical example will be performed to check for excess hair growth and acne. Also, a medical history review will be performed such as discussing your menstrual periods and weight changes. In some cases, a blood test and ultrasound may be required to help with diagnosis.