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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Specialist

Francine A. Olds, MD, FACOG -  - Gynecologist

Women's Health Choice

Francine A. Olds, MD, FACOG

Gynecologist located in Virginia Beach, VA

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that can bring on a range of uncomfortable symptoms. Properly diagnosing this condition can be challenging, but is an area of specialty for Francine Olds, MD, of Women's Health Choice in Virginia Beach, Virginia. If you sense that something is simply not right, listen to the messages your body is sending, and reach out online or by phone to book a visit today.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Q & A

What is polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a women’s health problem characterized by abnormal hormonal balance. It can bring on a wide range of seemingly unrelated symptoms, which is why it is so challenging to reach a proper diagnosis. 

Although women produce large amounts of estrogen, they also manufacture hormones most often associated with males, including testosterone. Polycystic ovarian syndrome occurs when women produce abnormally high volumes of androgens, or “male” hormones. 

Some women with PCOS will develop many small cysts in their ovaries, but not all women with the condition experience this symptom. Researchers have noted PCOS in medical literature dating back to the 1700s, although the condition is still largely misunderstood.

What are some of the symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome?

Symptoms can begin to develop around the time of puberty. However, some women only begin to experience symptoms after gaining a significant amount of weight. 

Some of the signs of polycystic ovarian syndrome include:

  • Abnormally heavy or prolonged uterine bleeding
  • Acne
  • Thinning hair on the scalp
  • Weight gain
  • Hair growth on the face, back, abdomen, and chest
  • Dark patches of skin in areas where your skin creases, like beneath your breasts
  • Headaches

Infertility is also a symptom of PCOS. In fact, many women only learn they have the condition when they encounter difficulty conceiving a child. 

What are some treatment options for PCOS? 

One of the most effective ways to treat PCOS is by taking birth control pills. The hormones found in these contraceptives help restore optimal balance and can relieve many symptoms. You can also try the birth control patch or vaginal rings to deliver supplemental hormones. 

Certain medications can treat PCOS, and there are even options that can boost your fertility. Individual symptoms like hair loss, unwanted hair growth, and sleep disruption can be treated as stand-alone conditions. 

For women who are trying to get pregnant, a procedure called ovarian drilling can help. The process involves creating tiny holes in your ovaries using a heated needle or special laser. This can help your ovaries release eggs more easily. 

If you’re concerned over unusual symptoms and are searching for answers, schedule a visit at Women’s Health Choice today. Online scheduling is available, or you are always welcome to call or stop by to check appointment availability.