Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS happens when a woman’s hormones become unbalanced. It can cause irregular periods, but more importantly, it makes it very difficult to get pregnant.
PCOS sometimes changes in the way you look, for example some women grow hair, gain weight, and develop skin problems. This condition is common, affecting around 1 in 15 women.
Often the symptoms begin as a teenager. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Symptoms of PCOS
- Weight gain
- Difficulty losing weight
- Extra hair on the face and body (such as the chest, belly, and back)
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer periods. Some women have no periods. Others have very heavy bleeding.
PCOS can cause small cysts to form on your ovaries, which is the reason it’s termed polycystic ovary syndrome. The cysts can be painful, especially if they rupture, and unfortunately these lead to the hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS. If a member of your family has PCOS, you are more likely to develop symptoms as well.
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