It takes courage for a young woman to seek help for problems with her period, but often she may be thinking about short term relief rather than long term health effects. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is an example of a condition that can have such effects. John Nestler, the chair of the department of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University stated, “classically, we thought of PCOS as primarily as an infertility disorder or a cosmetic annoyance, but we now know that it’s also a metabolic disorder and a serious long-term health concern.”
According to the New Harvard Guide for Women’s Health, PCOS is a common hormonal disorder in women, affecting up to 10 percent of premenopausal women.
The Office of Women’s Health reports women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health and appearance. Symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles which can also cause difficulty getting pregnant, too much hair or thinning hair, acne, weight gain, darkening of skin, and skin tags. While most women are first diagnosed with PCOS in their twenties and thirties because they go to the doctor for fertility issues, it can occur any time after puberty. Links have been found between PCOS and other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety and endometrial cancer. PCOS can be diagnosed through a doctor’s exam and bloodwork. While it cannot be cured, it can be treated with medication, such as hormonal birth control pills, and lifestyle changes, such as weight loss.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). (2004). In K. J. Carlson, S. A. Eisenstat, & T. D. Ziporyn, New harvard guide to women's health, the. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from https://library.semo.edu:2443/login?url=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.credoreference.com%2Fcontent%2Fentry%2Fhupwh%2Fpolycystic_ovary_syndrome_pcos%2F0%3FinstitutionId%3D180