Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is the most common cause of female infertility, affecting 5-10% of women in the United States. At Advanced Reproductive Concepts in Charlotte, North Carolina, we understand the negative effect this disorder can have on everything from your appearance to your mental health to your menstrual cycle. Dr. Mark Jutras has more than 35 years’ experience treating women with PCOS, restoring their well-being and their fertility. To learn more, call our office in Charlotte to make an appointment.
PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that affects ovulation. A woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce an abnormal amount of male hormones, leading to irregular menstrual periods or no periods at all. You may also develop cysts on your ovaries, which is where the disorder gets its name — polycystic means having many cysts.
PCOS can be a very painful condition, leading to weight gain and depression. Other symptoms include:
If left untreated, PCOS puts you at a higher risk for:
PCOS can cause anovulation, which is when your ovaries don’t release an egg during a menstrual cycle.
Dr. Jutras diagnoses PCOS through a series of tests. He gives you a physical exam and orders a blood test to measure your hormone levels. You may need a pelvic ultrasound to check your ovaries for cysts. PCOS affects more than 10 million women of childbearing age globally, including girls as young as 11.
No one knows exactly what triggers the hormonal imbalance behind polycystic ovary syndrome. One theory suggests it’s a genetic trait that runs in families. Insulin resistance may also be a factor, as women with PCOS are often overweight and have a family history of diabetes.
Because polycystic ovary syndrome makes ovulation irregular, sometimes preventing it altogether, it can make becoming pregnant very difficult. PCOS also affects your overall health, which in turn reduces your fertility. If you have PCOS, or think you may have it, and want to become pregnant, you must consult with a qualified endocrinologist like Dr. Jutras to discuss a medical treatment plan.
There is no outright cure for polycystic ovary syndrome, but Dr. Jutras works with you to improve your physical symptoms and reduce the long-term effects of the disorder on your overall health. There are also a number of proven strategies that help increase your fertility, from surgery on your ovaries to hormonal birth control to other drugs, such as Clomid®, that help you ovulate. Call to set up a consultation with Dr. Jutras today.