- Normally, the ovaries make female sex menhormones and a tiny amount of male sex hormones (androgens). These help regulate the normal development of eggs in the ovaries during each menstrual cycle.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome is related to an imbalance in these sex hormones. In PCOS, they start making slightly more androgens. This causes patients to stop ovulating, get pimples and grow extra facial and body hair.
- Follicles are sacs within the ovaries that contain eggs. Normally, one or more eggs are released during each menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation.
- In polycystic ovary syndrome, the eggs in these follicles do not mature and are not released from the ovaries. Instead, they can form very small cysts in the ovary, hence the name polycystic ovaries.
- PCOS seems to run in families, so the chance of having it is higher if other women in the family have PCOS, irregular periods, or diabetes
Common symptoms of PCOD/PCOS include:
- Weight gain and trouble losing weight
- Extra hair on the face and body. Often women get thicker, darker facial hair and more hair on the chest, belly, and back.
- Thinning hair on the scalp
- Irregular periods. Often women with PCOS have fewer than nine periods a year. Some women have no periods others have very heavy bleeding
- Fertility problems. Many women who have PCOS have trouble getting pregnant (infertility)