6 Complications of Untreated PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, is a common health issue that affects about 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. You may first suspect you have this disorder if you have irregular periods. Women with PCOS experience prolonged or infrequent menstrual cycles.

Other symptoms of PCOS iinclude facial hair, body hair, acne, or male-pattern baldness. These symptoms are caused by an excess male hormone, androgen.

The experienced and caring providers at Women’s Health Care Center, PLLC, in Helena, Montana, can diagnose and treat this widespread condition so that you don’t experience complications. Here, they share six common complications you may experience if you don’t treat PCOS. 

Infertility

If your period is infrequent or irregular, it can make getting pregnant problematic. In fact, many women first discover they have PCOS when they have trouble getting pregnant. It’s a common cause of infertility, but, fortunately, it is a treatable issue. 

Type 2 diabetes

Women with PCOS also often have insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps break down glucose so that your body can use it for energy. If the glucose, or blood sugar, is not broken down, it builds up in your body and eventually can lead to type 2 diabetes. 

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is when a person experiences sleep interruptions that they may or may not be aware of throughout the night. Women with PCOS are at higher risk of developing this condition, contributing to other PCOS symptoms. 

Miscarriage

Because of the high levels of male hormones and perhaps insulin resistance, women with PCOS are at higher risk of miscarriage than women without PCOS. Studies show that women with PCOS are three times as likely to miscarry as are women without PCOS.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a complex group of symptoms such as insulin resistance and obesity that overlap with common PCOS symptoms. Having metabolic syndrome puts you at higher risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, as well as other health issues.

Endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer is cancer of the uterine lining. Common PCOS symptoms, as mentioned above, such as ovulation irregularities, insulin resistance, and diabetes, are known to increase your risk of developing endometrial cancer.

Fortunately, many treatment options are available to help you manage PCOS, and you also can make lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk of developing PCOS.

If you have PCOS, the Women’s Health Care Center providers can develop a personalized treatment plan to help manage and resolve symptoms. For more information on PCOS and treatment options, call Women’s Health Care Center to make an appointment, or schedule one online

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