Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries produce an excess of male hormones otherwise known as testosterone. PCOS can cause health problems ranging from minor to severe. Dr. Brandon M. Lingenfelter of Brandon M. Lingenfelter, DO, PhD in Princeton, West Virginia, is ready to conduct a proper examination and diagnosis if you suspect you’re experiencing PCOS symptoms. He’ll guide you through the test results to ensure you understand everything happening with your body.
Due to the higher levels of male hormones caused by PCOS, women may experience the growth of excess hair on the face, chest, stomach, or thighs. Other symptoms of PCOS are irregular menstrual periods, pelvic pain, weight gain, patches of thickened skin, acne or oily skin, and infertility. Remember that early diagnosis often times is best measure of defense as women with PCOS experience higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, studies show that excess insulin, low-grade inflammation, and heredity may play a role.
The diagnosis of PCOS is an exclusionary process. This means that through a sequence of tests and examinations Dr. Lingenfelter eliminates all possible other causes of symptoms first. For an accurate PCOS diagnosis, the patient needs a physical exam, pelvic exam, blood test, and ultrasound. When all results have been considered, the doctor can then determine if PCOS is indeed present. During the physical exam, common measurements taken into account include height, weight, and blood pressure.
A pelvic exam reveals any signs of growths or masses on reproductive organs or other abnormalities. A blood test is used to measure the level of several hormones present in the body to eliminate the possibility of menstrual abnormalities or androgen excess which mirror the symptoms of PCOS. Finally, the ultrasound shows the appearance of the ovaries and thickness of the uterine lining.
Initial treatment of PCOS is a step towards a healthier lifestyle and weight reduction. Even a small drop in excess weight can help alleviate symptoms. Dr. Lingenfelter can guide you through the proper diet and exercise needed to fight PCOS. Medication can also be administered to aid in specific areas of concern in women with the condition. Birth control can be prescribed to regulate the menstrual cycle while medication such as Clomiphene can be used to to aid ovulation. Some birth control can be used to reduce excess hair growth. Dr. Lingenfelter will guide you through all treatments and answer your questions. Currently, there’s no cure for PCOS so mitigation of symptoms is the only course of action.
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