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Are You Suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Don’t Know It?

April 19, 2023

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone balance problem where several immature follicles contain eggs in the ovaries. 

The ovaries are part of the woman’s reproductive organs.

If they are not ok structurally or cannot work well for some other reason, it can cause many problems.

Black woman worried whether she could have PCOS (polcystic ovary syndrome)

How common is polycystic ovary syndrome

PCOS is so common it could affect 1 in every 100 women. So it is possible you have PCOS and don’t even know it. In addition, more than half of these women do not have any symptoms.

How long does Polycystic Ovary Syndrome last?

It is a lifelong (chronic) condition. There is no cure, but the symptoms can be controlled depending on the severity.

Image of a woman's reproductive system
Ovaries and uterus with fallopian tubes

Does Polycystic Ovary Syndrome hurt?

Yes, it can be associated with irregular periods and pelvic pain.

What Causes PCOS?

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it often runs in families.

Which hormones are out of balance in PCOS?

 Testosterone, which is usually low in women, is abnormally high.

 High insulin, which controls sugar levels in the body, is too high.

Other problems with PCOS

Your ovaries may be slightly larger than normal. This is because they have more immature fluid-filled pockets that prevent the release of eggs.

That means the ovaries don’t release eggs at the end of the menstrual cycle, which can lead to infertility. 

Trying to conceive may be a challenge with PCOS

The problems with PCOS include the following:

Hair loss, 


Acne or oily skin

Pelvic pain


Overweight – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks

 Irregular Periods or no periods


 High Testosterone and Insulin

Many women with PCOS are resistant to the action of insulin in their bodies, so they make more insulin to overcome this.

However, this causes them to make more hormones like testosterone.

Being overweight or obese also increases the amount of insulin your body produces, placing you more at risk of developing Diabetes Mellitus. 

Can PCOS be cured?

No, there is no cure for PCOS.

But there are different degrees of PCOS. Some women may have a mild disease without visible symptoms. Others may be moderate or severe.

So you can have PCOS, yet no period or fertility problems. All you may have is bad acne or thinning hair. 

But other ladies may have irregular periods and difficulty conceiving, which brings them to the doctor’s attention.

The treatments will depend on the specific issue the degree of PCOS causes, but broadly:

  1. If you are overweight, losing weight and eating a balanced diet can improve some symptoms.
  2. Some medications can help with irregular periods, excess hair or infertility.
  3. Surgery is an option if fertility medicines don’t work. A simple surgical procedure called laparoscopic ovarian drilling (LOD) may be recommended. Here, heat or a laser destroys the tissue in the ovaries producing excess hormones, testosterone. With treatment, most women with PCOS can get pregnant.

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising Medical Practitioners on various healthcare conditions to promote quality healthcare. 

The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Don’t hesitate to contact a health practitioner to discuss your condition or reach us directly 

Image Credits: Adobe

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Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

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