Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects your hormones, fertility, and overall health. This post provides information on how to manage PCOS and reduce long-term health risks.

PCOS

Ovary with typical PCOS follicle pattern around the outside

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

PCOS causes irregular periods, increased hair growth, acne, and may affect fertility. It’s associated with obesity and insulin resistance, increasing the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Those living with PCOS can suffer from a range of symptoms varying from mild to very severe. Symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life, confidence and the ability to conceive. Symptoms of PCOS may include:

  • Irregular or absent periods 
  • Excess facial or body hair (hirsutism) 
  • Hair loss on the head 
  • Weight issues 
  • Oily skin and acne 
  • Reduced fertility

What treatments are available for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

Due to the wide variety in how PCOS presents itself, those with PCOS all suffer differently. Following your consultation, your doctor will discuss the different treatments available, depending on what symptoms are impacting you most, such as:

  • Hormone tablets
  • Ovulation Induction: Medical and surgical treatments
  • Treatments to combat hair loss and excess body hair
  • Diet, lifestyle and healthy living

Long term risks with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Compared to women who do not have PCOS, those who do have PCOS have a higher life time risk of developing:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Abnormal levels of fat and cholesterol (Dyslipidaemia)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer of the womb (endometrial cancer)

What can I do to reduce these risks? 

Whilst those with PCOS are at a higher risk of developing the above conditions, there are many ways to reduce the risk including:

  • Maintaining a healthy BMI (<25)
  • Eating a healthy diet full of fruit and vegetables which is low in processed foods
  • Not smoking or drinking
  • For those with absent or infrequent periods, ensuring you have either a continuous progesterone such as a Mirena coil, or alternatively ensuring a bleed at least 4 times per year induced by progesterone tablets given by your doctor.
  • Annual reviews to check for early signs of disease

What does an Annual PCOS review check?

For those who have a diagnosis of PCOS, an annual review is recommended to monitor for early signs of diabetes, endometrial cancer and heart disease. An annual review will include a:

  • Discussion around diet, weight and BMI.
  • Smoking & Alcohol review with the offer of support for those wanting to stop
  • Review of your menstrual cycle, and if indicated, a pelvic scan to assess the lining of the womb.
  • Blood pressure check
  • Diabetes check to monitor for early signs of insulin resistance 
  • Cholesterol check
  • Fertility assessment & discussion around family planning (if required)
  • Review of any mental health concerns

Finally

For those who have a diagnosis of PCOS, there is effective treatment available for any symptoms you may be struggling with. Once on treatment, an annual review is recommended to look for early signs of any problems, provide lifestyle support & reduce the long term risks to your health. 

If you would like to discuss a more individualised approach on managing your PCOS, including advice on fertility or family planning, or would like to arrange your annual PCOS review, please contact Mandy Banbury (secretary to Mr Dobson) to arrange a consultation.

Contact Us:

Mandy Banbury:

Tel: 0115 966 2111 (Tues/ Wed/ Thurs)

Email: mandy.banbury@circlehealthgroup.co.uk

Clinics: The Park Hospital, Nottingham

Thornbury Hospital, Sheffield