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Woman with adbominal pain 200x133You’re having trouble getting pregnant. Periods are irregular and you’re struggling to lose weight. Maybe you have persistent acne and hair where you don’t want it, like on your face.

These could be warning signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). It’s estimated that up to 10% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have PCOS, which is one of the most common causes of infertility in women.

PCOS is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones that creates problems in the ovaries. It can lead to development of ovarian cysts and the egg may not develop properly or may not be released during ovulation as it should be.

Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycle.
  • Too much hair on the face, chin, or parts of the body where men usually have hair.
  • Acne on the face, chest, and upper back.
  • Thinning hair on the scalp; male-pattern baldness.
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
  • Darkening of skin, particularly along neck creases, in the groin, and underneath breasts.
  • Skin tags, which are small excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area.

The exact cause of PCOS is not known. Most experts think that several factors, including genetics, play a role. Many women with PCOS have high levels of male hormones called androgens along with high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and high insulin blood levels that can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Depression and anxiety are also common among women with PCOS.

Having PCOS doesn’t mean you can't get pregnant; it’s one of the most common, but treatable, causes of infertility in women.  Talk with your doctor about ways to help you ovulate and raise your chance of getting pregnant.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax