11 Fast Facts About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

  1. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age.
  2. PCOS is caused by an imbalance of hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone. This imbalance can cause the ovaries to produce too many male hormones, called androgens.
  3. PCOS symptoms include irregular periods, excessive hair growth on the face and body, acne, and weight gain.
  4. PCOS can also increase the risk for other health problems such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and ovarian cancer.
  5. There is no one definitive test for diagnosing PCOS; a diagnosis is typically made based on a woman's symptoms and medical history.
  6. PCOS is treated with lifestyle changes and medication. Lifestyle changes may include exercise, a healthy diet, and weight loss if needed.
  7. Medications used to treat PCOS include birth control pills, hormones, and diabetes medications.
  8. There is no cure for PCOS, but symptoms can be controlled with treatment.
  9. Many women with PCOS are able to conceive and have healthy pregnancies and children.
  10. There is currently no evidence that PCOS causes infertility in women who do not wish to become pregnant.
  11. If you think you may have PCOS, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. Many women believe that PCOS only affects those who want to have children- not so! PCOS can cause infertility, but there are many treatments available for those who do not wish to become pregnant as well as those who do.


PCOS affects many women all over the world and is one of the leading causes of infertility. If you've been trying to conceive for a long time and your doctor has told you that you have PCOS, you probably have a lot of questions about the condition and how it will affect you.

Here are ten of the most frequently asked PCOS questions.

1. What does PCOS mean?

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

2. What causes PCOS?

Presently, the exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Some experts lean toward the theory that it might be a genetic, inherited condition since women who have it are more likely to have a sister or mother who also has it. Most feel that women with PCOS have a defect in insulin or insulin secretion that leads to the disease, that is why women with PCOS are more likely to get diabetes.

3. Who can get PCOS?

PCOS normally affects women once they start having menstrual cycles or hit the age of puberty (typically around age 11).

4. Can PCOS affect your chances of getting pregnant?

It might. Because it is a hormonal imbalance, it can hamper normal ovulation and cause female infertility as well as sub-fertility.

5. Is there a cure for PCOS?

No, there isn’t. It can be managed with the appropriate treatment at a fertility clinic in Denver depending on symptoms, but not cured. Weight loss may help improve the symptoms in a lot of women with PCOS.

6. How is PCOS diagnosed?

There is no one definitive test that can diagnose PCOS. The diagnosis of PCOS is a clinical diagnosis, meaning the diagnosis is made by your medical history and not any specific blood test. Three criteria determine if you have PCOS.  Irregular menstrual  cycles since puberty (when not on hormones), signs of androgen excess (excessive hair growth, acne or an elevated blood testosterone level) and PCOS appearing on ovaries by ultrasound. To have the diagnosis of PCOS you need to meet 2 of the 3  above mentioned criteria.  The Colorado fertility clinic doctor will generally use a variety of tests and check things such as your weight, hair growth, menstrual history, screening test for diabetes, endometrial lining and more to treat your PCOS.

7. If you have PCOS what medical problems are you at risk for

The long term health risks for patients with PCOS include:

  •         Hypertension
  •         Diabetes
  •         Impaired glucose tolerance
  •         MI/CAD
  •         Endometrial cancer
  •         Hypercholesterolemia with low HDL
  •         Gestational diabetes
  •         Sleep apnea
  •         Depression

Women with PCOS should see their doctor yearly to screen for these risks.


8. If a woman is overweight, will losing that excess weight help her to become pregnant?

It may, but there is no guarantee that it will. It is possible that weight loss could help in reducing insulin resistance, which could result in ovulation or improved ovulation. This would help in conception. Losing 10% of your body weight could be enough to improve symptoms.

9. Can IVF or ICSI help a woman with PCOS get pregnant?

Yes. These fertility treatments have helped many women with PCOS get pregnant and have babies. But not all women with PCOS will need IVF.  Most women with PCOS will conceive with fertility pills that cost around $30 without the need of expensive IVF treatments.

10. Is it true that pregnancy cures PCOS?

Unfortunately, no. However, it is quite common for a woman with PCOS to have a cessation of symptoms while she is pregnant, and many women have improvement and more normal menstrual cycles after having been pregnant.

PCOS can cause problems if you are trying to conceive, but with the right treatment from a fertility specialist with experience and expert knowledge of the condition, you have a good chance of getting pregnant.

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