Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that occurs in women of reproductive age. It affects 1 in every 10 women living in the United States.

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown; however, several factors are believed to contribute to the disorder. Factors that may play a role in the development of PCOS are genetics, low-grade inflammation or producing excessive amounts of androgens (male hormones) or insulin.

Those affected by PCOS often develop hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems, which can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Acne
  • Hirsutism ( Excessive hair on the face or in areas where only men normally have hair)
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Thinning hair (Male pattern baldness)
  • Skin tags
  • Darkening of skin (Especially in areas such as the groin, underneath the breast and neck creases)

PCOS is linked to other health problems.  Women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome are at risk of complications such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Depression and anxiety
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea

There is no single test used to diagnose PCOS.  Your doctor may take into consideration your medical history and recommend blood tests, pelvic examinations or ultrasounds to rule out other causes for symptoms.

Treatment for PCOS is focused on managing complications.  Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medication or cosmetic procedures to improve symptoms.

To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call  718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.