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Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, means a woman's hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it hard to get pregnant.
Doctors don't know for sure what causes PCOS, but it seems to run in families. It also seems to be linked to obesity and a risk for diabetes. If you have PCOS, your sisters and daughters have a higher chance of getting it too.
You may have other symptoms. These include weight gain, acne, too much hair growth on the face or body, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Your ovaries may have cysts on them. These cysts are growths filled with fluid.
Keep in mind that although you may not have regular periods, you can still get pregnant. Talk to your doctor about birth control if you do not want to get pregnant. Sometimes the hormone changes with PCOS can also make it hard for some women to get pregnant. If this is a concern, talk to your doctor about treatment for this problem.
Women who have PCOS can go for months or longer with no period. Your doctor may recommend medicines that can help get your cycles back to normal.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 19, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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