Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

The main cause of infertility from the endocrine system, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is due to a hormonal imbalance and affects approximately 15% of women worldwide. However, it does not at all prevent the birth of children. We conducted an evaluation with Professor Sophie Cato-Gonnard, Head of the Department of Clinical Gynecology at Lille University Hospital.


The PCOS (PCOS) It is caused by the increased production of male hormones – androgens – in the ovaries. “However, the name was chosen very poorly, because it is not at all related to cysts in the ovary, but to small follicles “corrects Professor Sophie Cato-Gonnard, MD, a gynecologist in Lille.

It’s not a disease, it’s a syndrome: there are as many forms of PCOS as there are patients.”, she completes. About 15% of women of childbearing age are also affected.

PCOS: What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of PCOS are caused by increased production of male hormones:

  • a excessive hair On the face, chest or back.
  • young love;
  • ovulation problems that cause menstrual disorders (either irregular cycles or amenorrhea, complete absence of periods);
  • Sometimes hair falls out.

In women who are overweight, the excess insulin will make the symptoms more pronounced and they will become more troublesome. “A skinny woman who gains 20 kilograms will have more symptoms: weight gain can reveal PCOS “says Professor Sophie Cato-Gonard.

Most symptoms resolve with age.

What causes PCOS?

A woman with PCOS One of the two risks of passing it on to his daughters, says Professor Kato Gunnard. However, the “PCOS genes” have not been identified. “Genetic factors account for only 5% of polycystic ovary syndrome transmission cases.”continues specialist.

The factors that explain the transmission of PCOS are somewhat environmental. In pregnant women, a AMH . excess (Anti-Müllerian hormone) alters the placenta and potentially causes PCOS. This excess of AMH is in itself due to the presence of many small follicles in the ovary.

PCOS: How is the diagnosis made?

First of all, you should know that a gynecologist or endocrinologist should not confirm a diagnosis of PKI until six to eight years after your first period. next one, Three signs are necessary to be able to talk about PCOS :

  • signs of hyperandrogenism (hair, acne) or biological hyperandrogenism,
  • menstrual disorder
  • and “large” or multifollicular ovaries.

To be diagnosed with PCOS, you must have at least two of these three symptoms.alerts the gynecologist.

Being diagnosed with PCOS is a diagnosis of exclusion, we run a number of hormonal tests to make sure it’s nothing else.”, she completes. A pelvic ultrasound can then be done, but it is not enough to say that a person has PCOS: “Some women may have many small follicles on the ovaries or a large ovary size without having PCOS.”says the specialist.

How is PCOS treated?

Once the diagnosis is made, we will provide assistance to patients in order to treat whatever is bothering them.”, notes the specialist. It will be purely treatment symptomaticwith specific solutions either due to irregular bases or complexes related to hair growth, for example.

Can PCOS cause long-term complications?

In the event of overweight Cardiovascular disease or diabetes It can be preferred.

PCOS can also promote the development of endometrial cancer. “When a woman does not ovulate well, she secretes too much estrogen. Periods do not occur and the lining of the uterus thickens, and it can turn into cancer. “

Polycystic ovary syndrome is also The main cause of endocrine infertilityHowever, it does not prevent children from being born at all. “A number of women have problems ovulating, and getting pregnant can be more difficult, but it’s also not impossible.”Reassure the gynecologist. Women with PCOS For longer fertility : An excess of androgens allows the growth of small follicles and prevents them from premature death. So they also experience menopause soon afterwards.

Finally, women with PCOS have levelsIncreased anxiety and depression of women who do not.

When do you consult a doctor?

If your period is still irregular two to three years after it started, it is important to see a doctor.”, advises Professor Kato Gunnard. Once the discomfort becomes too great, getting help from a professional remains the primary solution.

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