Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome ("pah-lee-SIS-tik OH-vuh-ree SIN-drohm") is a hormone imbalance in women that can affect ovulation. It can cause problems with a woman's periods and make it harder to get pregnant.

Doctors don’t know for sure what causes PCOS, but it seems to run in families. It also seems to be linked to obesity and a risk for diabetes. If you have PCOS, your sisters and daughters have a higher chance of getting it too.

You may have other symptoms. These include weight gain, acne, too much hair growth on the face or body, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Your ovaries may have cysts on them. These cysts are growths filled with fluid.

Keep in mind that although you may not have regular periods, you can still get pregnant. Talk to your doctor about birth control if you do not want to get pregnant. Sometimes the hormone changes with PCOS can also make it hard for some women to get pregnant. If this is a concern, talk to your doctor about treatment for this problem.

Women who have PCOS can go for months or longer with no period. Your doctor may recommend medicines that can help get your cycles back to normal.