Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
at The Howard Center

Located in Tifton, Albany, Douglas, Valdosta, Warner Robins, Waycross, Moultrie, and Covington, GA.

About one in 10 women of childbearing age has polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that can make it more difficult to get pregnant. Our experienced OB/GYN team at The Howard Center offers a variety of PCOS treatment options at our state-of-the-art facilities in Tifton, Leesburg, Douglas, Valdosta, Warner Robins, Waycross, Moultrie & Covington, Georgia. If you think you may have PCOS, call the nearest office or request an appointment online today.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Q & A

What is polycystic ovary syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that causes problems in the ovaries. Your ovaries are responsible for storing and releasing an egg as part of a healthy menstrual cycle.

When you have PCOS, the egg may not develop normally, or your ovary may not release the egg during ovulation. PCOS can cause irregular periods, which can lead to infertility (difficulty getting pregnant).

What causes polycystic ovary syndrome?

Exactly what causes PCOS remains unclear. Several factors can play a role, including genetics, high levels of male hormones (androgens), and excess insulin. Many women with PCOS also have insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to diabetes.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Signs and symptoms of PCOS usually occur during puberty or around the time of your first menstrual period. PCOS signs and symptoms vary but may include:

  • Irregular periods, including infrequent or prolonged menstrual cycles
  • Cysts, which are small, fluid-filled sacs, on the ovaries
  • Excess hair on the face or body
  • Acne on the face, chest, and back
  • Thinning hair on the top of the head
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Infertility

PCOS is also associated with weight gain or difficulty losing weight. As many as 80% of women with PCOS are overweight.

How is polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosed?

First, our team at The Howard Center reviews your medical history and performs a physical and pelvic exam. We may also take tests, such as blood tests to check your hormone levels and a pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound to examine your ovaries and uterus.

How is polycystic ovary syndrome treated?

There’s no cure for PCOS, but our team at The Howard Center creates a personalized treatment plan to manage your symptoms. We tailor treatment to your particular symptoms, plans for having children, and risk for complications like diabetes.

Various medications treat PCOS and its symptoms, including hormonal birth control. If you’re trying to get pregnant, treatment may include:

  • Weight loss through healthy eating and exercise
  • Medicine to increase ovulation, such as clomiphene
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Surgery, such as ovarian drilling

PCOS can increase your risk for pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Our obstetrics team at The Howard Center has extensive experience managing high-risk pregnancies.

For expert care of PCOS, call The Howard Center today or request an appointment online.