PCOS: a metabolic disease masquerading a reproductive disorder

PCOSultrasoundPolycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common things doctors see in both reproductive medicine and OBGYN practices. Patients often come to us complaining of infertility, miscarriages or irregular cycles, and sometime other issues such as facial hair, acne or weight issues. Because of these are the problems that bring PCOS patients in the office, most patients (and most doctors as well) think of it as a gynecologic disorder.  However, most experts consider most PCOS to be a metabolic disorder, a problem with how the body handles sugar and produces insulin, and that the symptoms of PCOS are the consequences of these metabolic problems. A recent article from the Wall Street Journal, discusses PCOS and interviews some of the leading researchers in the field.

New guidelines for PCOS

ImageThe Endocrine Society has issued new guidelines for the diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). These guidelines developed by a special task force are based in part on the Rotterdam criteria and were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Women are diagnosed with PCOS when they have 2 out of the 3 following conditions:

  1. Problems with ovulation such as irregular cycles
  2. Excess levels of male hormone levels on bloodwork or based on symptoms such as abnormal hair growth or loss, acne
  3. Large numbers of ovarian follicles or “cysts” on ultrasound

Additionally, doctors will need to rule other hormonal disorders that may mimic PCOS and are advised to screen for medical diseases such as diabetes and hypertension that are more common in women with PCOS. They also issued recommendations for treatment of infertility and irregular cycles in PCOS patients.

Click here for more. Click here for the original article.

September is PCOS Awareness Month

PCOSultrasound

This month is the time to recognize Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome  (PCOS), the most common hormonal disorder in women of reproductive age. It is hormone imbalance that includes irregular or absent periods, and production of higher than normal levels of male hormones such as testosterone which can result in symptoms such as facial hair, acne and hair loss. It is also a metabolic problem that can cause weight gain and lead to diabetes, high blood pressure.and heart disease. Additionally, it is one of the most common causes for infertility and something most Reproductive Endocrinologists see on a daily basis.  For information from Resolve or the PCOS Association, click on the links.