PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a hormonal disorder that affects 1 out of every 10 women during their childbearing years. It can cause irregular menstrual cycles with prolonged bleeding, unexplained weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne, and infertility.
As many as 5 million women in the US suffer with PCOS and yet according to a research study, more than half of them aren’t even aware they have PCOS. September has been designated PCOS awareness month to help women with PCOS find effective ways to overcome this disease.
Here are some factors that might contribute to an increased risk for PCOS:
- Genetics: Although specific genes responsible for PCOS have not yet been identified, genetics has an important role to play. If your mother or sister has PCOS, you are at a higher risk for developing the condition.
- Stress: It is a well-known fact that PCOS can cause a great deal of stress. However, according to the latest scientific research, increased levels of stress can also contribute the development of PCOS in the first place.
- Insulin resistance: Not all women who are insulin resistant develop PCOS, but there is a definite link between insulin resistance and PCOS. It has been speculated that high levels of insulin in your blood may trigger the release of androgens resulting in PCOS.
- Difficulty losing weight: Do you have a problem losing weight despite exercising regularly and eating healthy? Being overweight or obese may increase your risk for PCOS.
- Sleep apnea: Pauses in your breathing that occurs during sleep apnea may be due to low levels of progesterone which has been associated with PCOS. Furthermore, sleep apnea also exacerbates glucose intolerance and insulin resistance which can lead to PCOS.
Women with PCOS can have difficulty getting pregnant and may be at a higher risk of developing complications during pregnancy or suffering a miscarriage. The good news is most cases of infertility due to PCOS can be successfully treated. Contact your doctor or visit a fertility specialist near you for more information specific to your condition. ReproMed fertility clinics are located throughout Dallas, Grapevine, McKinney, Rockwall and in Tyler, Texas, giving patients convenient access to experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate reproductive health specialists. Contact us for an appointment today.