Signs and Symptoms of PCOS
Apart from irregular periods, other symptoms may include a total lack of periods through to heavy prolonged or erratic menstrual bleeding. This may lead to delays in getting pregnancy however may also be associated with abnormalities within the uterus.
Women with PCOS often find they gain weight easily with up to two thirds above the recommended body mass index (BMI). These women often need help to lose weight which can improve their chances of conceiving and reduce their chance of pregnancy complications.
Imbalances in hormonal production affect ovulation, which may occur irregularly or not at all. There may also be a mild increase in testosterone levels, causing darker and thicker hair growth and acne. Hormonal imbalances also cause problems with sugar metabolism, leading to insulin resistance and a higher risk of diabetes if you do fall pregnant or as you get older.
Does PCOS affect a woman’s ability to conceive?
If you’re living with PCOS, the excessive male hormones that your body is creating can interfere with the production of the female hormones that your body needs in order to ovulate.
Because your body is not ovulating, progesterone (the hormone that causes the lining of the uterus to thicken) is not being produced. Due to unbalanced hormones, ovulation and menstruation can be irregular. Unpredictable menstrual cycles can also make it difficult to get pregnant.
If you become pregnant with PCOS, you may wonder how the syndrome will affect your pregnancy. Having PCOS and getting pregnant does increase the risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or premature delivery. Still, in general, women with PCOS do experience healthy pregnancies.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
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