The symptoms of PCOS can be devastating from excessive facial hair to unexplained weight gain. Healthista gynaecologist Dr Larisa Corda explains what can be done.
From irregular periods to excessive facial hair and weight gain, patients I see with PCOS find the condition devastating because its symptoms seem to affect the entire body. And, it’s common.
Polycystic ovaries affect 1 in 5 women in the UK. The term is a bit of a misnomer in that the ovaries do not contain cysts but instead small follicles that contain multiple immature eggs.
Not all women with polycystic ovaries have the syndrome and not all women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have all the symptoms, which can vary.
Signs and symptoms
Common symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular periods or no periods at all
- Difficulty getting pregnant (because of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate)
- Excessive hair growth (hirsutism)– usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair and hair loss from the head
- Oily skin or acne