Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and What we can Do About it

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 10, 2014
Quick Bites

  • PCOS is associated with female sex hormones.
  • It may prevent ovulation.
  • The patient runs a risk of infertility.
  • Proper treatment can help one with PCOS to get pregnant.

PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common medical condition in which an imbalance of female sex hormones affects the functioning of ovaries. Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless cysts where the eggs develop. PCOS disables the ovaries from releasing eggs, making ovulation difficult.


PCOS affects millions of women around the world and is usually diagnosed when women are in their 20s or 30s. While the condition may not even show any symptoms in some cases, it can pose severe risks including infertility. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it often runs in families.

PCOS may lead to cysts in the ovaries, menstrual cycle changes and trouble getting pregnant along with other health changes. Polycystic ovaries, ovaries not regularly releasing eggs and having high levels of androgens (male hormones) in the body are three common conditions found during PCOS. A woman is likely to be diagnosed with PCOS if she has at least two of these conditions.

PCOS is related to the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, that help in ovulation and the male hormone androgen which is found in small amounts in women. Under normal circumstances, the woman’s ovaries release one or more fully grown eggs during her period. In PCOS, small cysts form in the ovaries and the ovaries are unable to release fully grown eggs. Such changes can contribute to infertility.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Symptoms

The Symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome usually appear during the 20s and 30s. It is also common to have less significant symptoms however the symptoms usually include…

Menstrual problems:

This is the most common symptom of PCOS and may appear during teen years. Menstrual problems caused by PCOS may include few or no menstrual periods. The periods are usually accompanied by heavy or irregular bleeding.

Hair Problems:

It is also very common for women to lose hair from the scalp during PCOS. On the other PCOS may also cause hirsutism which results in excess hair growth on the face, chest, back, stomach, thumbs, or toes.

Skin Problems:

Women who have PCOS usually experience acne and oily skin. While the symptom may not be very significant, it may appear during sooner than other symptoms.

Fertility problems:

One of the most significant symptoms of PCOS include problem in releasing a fully grown egg leading to infertility or repeat miscarriages.

Insulin related problems:

Women having PCOS may also show sign of insulin resistance or too much insulin, which can lead to upper body obesity and skin tags.


PCOS may also cause depression and mood swing in women. Women with PCOS usually experience frequent and more severe mood swings.

Breathing Problems:

The symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome may also include obstructive sleep apnea which is linked to obesity and insulin resistance. It causes difficult to breathe during sleep.

What Can Be Done?

The symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome can be greatly improved with some efforts. Following are your options that can help you effectively manage polycystic ovarian syndrome symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes:

Since PCOS is also associated with obesity, losing weight can significantly improve PCOS symptoms and the risk of developing long term health problems. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help achieve a healthy body mass index which is very important for improving PCOS symptoms.


Different medications are available that can help treat different symptoms of PCOS. Your doctor can prescribe some medications depending on the PCOS symptoms you are experiencing. Medications can make it possible to get pregnant during PCOS.


A minor surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) can be used by the doctors to correct the hormone imbalance and restore the normal function of your ovaries. LOD can be an effective be a treatment option for fertility problems associated with PCOS.

Image Courtesy : Getty

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