September is PCOS Awareness Month

Did you know that September is PCOS Awareness Month?  PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a hormonal disorder that affects 4-12% of American teens and adult women.  That’s 5 million women!  PCOS presents health challenges to young women and women later in life.  Women are at risk for gestational diabetes (during pregnancy) and diabetes and heart disease in later life. Symptoms may include:

  • Menstrual cycle difficulties, including inconsistent or non-existent periods
  • Infertility
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • High levels of androgens
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Acne
  • Facial hair
  • Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia)
  • Overweight and difficulty with weight loss
  • Many small cysts in the ovaries
  • Higher rate of miscarriage

There is hope.  Many of my patients are having success with gluten-free diets, like the Paleo diet, and they are getting pregnant and staying pregnant.  It takes effort to make dietary changes and get rigorous exercise, but there is definitely a change.  Women tell me that they feel much better and they are able to lose weight.  Many of my patients are also on medication to address blood sugar irregularities.  Inseminations and IVF are helpful for many women.

For more information on PCOS, check out these websites:  PCOS Awareness Association and Soul Cysters.

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