Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is common and affects 10% of women of childbearing age in the United States. PCOS symptoms may affect your appearance, health, and ability to conceive. At Women’s Health Specialist in Los Gatos and Mountain View, California, Maureen Khoo, MD, FACOG, has treated women in many spectrums of PCOS and helped maintain their menstrual cycle as well as achieve their goals of pregnancy. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

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PCOS is a gynecological condition characterized by an imbalance in reproductive hormones. The alterations in your hormone levels affect the normal functioning of your ovaries and may prevent your eggs from fully developing or stop your ovaries from releasing the egg.

Women with PCOS may also have high levels of androgens, which are male sex hormones responsible for male characteristics such as facial hair and male-pattern baldness.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Symptoms of PCOS may develop at any time. However, for many women, the hormonal condition is present at the start of their menstruation during puberty.

Common PCOS symptoms include:

  • Menstrual cycle irregularities (less than eight periods in a year)
  • Hair growth on the face or chin
  • Acne
  • Thinning of hair on the head
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Dark patches of skin in the creases of your neck or groin or under your breasts

Many women with PCOS also experience infertility.

How is PCOS diagnosed?

Currently, no single test can diagnose PCOS. At her practice, Dr. Khoo conducts a comprehensive evaluation to assess your health and rule out other causes of your symptoms.

During your exam, she asks detailed questions about your symptoms, medical and gynecological history, menstrual cycle, family history, and general lifestyle habits.

Then, Dr. Khoo performs a physical and pelvic exam. Additional diagnostic tests may also be needed, such as bloodwork to check hormone levels and an ultrasound to look for ovarian cysts.

To be diagnosed with PCOS, you must have:

  • An irregular menstrual cycle
  • Higher than normal blood androgen levels
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Facial hair, acne, or hair thinning

Dr. Khoo may also request additional tests to assess for PCOS-related health complications, such as sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and high blood sugars.

How is PCOS treated?

Dr. Khoo takes a patient-centered approach to care and develops an individualized treatment plan for PCOS based on your symptoms, current or future pregnancy plans, and health risks.

Your PCOS plan may include:

  • Lifestyle changes to help with weight management
  • Hormonal birth control pills
  • Medication to stimulate ovulation
  • Spironolactone to reduce androgen levels

No matter what spectrum of PCOS you have, Dr. Khoo can develop a personalized treatment plan for you.

For expert care of your PCOS, call the office or book your visit online today.