It’s essential to seek medical advice, no matter what your age, if you think you have PCOS.
As this condition can disrupt the menstrual cycle, PCOS affects general health because having regular periods during child-bearing years is important to prevent osteoporosis and maintain the protective effects of estrogen and progesterone on the body.
Symptoms of PCOS can make postmenopausal women vulnerable to osteoporosis, too, along with an increased chance of type 2 diabetes and heart-damaging metabolic syndrome. Younger PCOS sufferers also share an increased risk of these latter conditions.
An evaluation by a doctor can include a physical examination, checking for insulin resistance, a fasting lipid profile, a glucose test, a check on hormone levels and an insulin test. A blood sample is very informative for testing elevated thyroid and prolactin levels. If these tests come up positive, doctors look for an altered FSH-to-LH ratio and increased levels of androgens. A pelvic ultrasound is sometimes suggested. It’s sometimes possible to see the pearl-necklace pattern of cysts on some women’s ovaries.
If there is any abdominal pain or pressure around the ovaries, an evaluation is certainly necessary. In most cases, a woman will be monitored on a regular basis to make sure her cysts are not at risk for rupture.
If you have PCOS or think you do, take heart in knowing the condition is reversible and there are many things that can alleviate your symptoms naturally, without drugs. Like any condition related to hormone imbalance, taking the right steps to improve your lifestyle via nutrition and regular exercise can help to restore you to good health.