8 Signs of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, commonly known as PCOS, is a hormonal disorder in women. This disorder is common among women of reproductive age. It can cause issues with your menstrual cycle and make it difficult to become pregnant. Some women experience unwanted changes in their physical appearance. In most cases women develop small fluid filled sacs on their ovaries called cysts. These cysts do not cause direct harm, but they can cause further hormonal imbalances.

Doctors aren’t completely sure what causes the disorder, but it seems to have a genetic component. If other women in your family have PCOS, then you are more likely to develop the disorder. Signs and symptoms can start out mild and escalate as the hormones get more and more unbalanced. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can lead to further health complications if left untreated such as diabetes and heart disease. The following list of symptoms is offered to help you better understand how the disorder might present itself. It’s not necessary to have every symptom on the list to have PCOS. If you’re worried that you’re showing signs of this disorder, it’s important for you to contact your doctor. While the disorder can’t be cured, it can be maintained with proper treatment.

1. Abnormal Menstruation

The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but it’s considered normal to have a cycle that lasts anywhere between 21 and 35 days. A normal period can be anywhere from four to seven days. The average amount of blood loss during a period is around 20 ml to 40 ml, but for some women it can be as low as 10 ml to as high as 60 ml. Losing more than 60 ml of blood during a period is considered abnormally heavy.

Some women with PCOS won’t experience abnormal menstruation, but often high levels of the male hormone androgen will cause menstrual irregularities. These irregularities can come in the form of periods that are too heavy or too light. The hormonal imbalance can cause the ovaries to not develop or release an egg, causing your cycle to lengthen to outside the normal cycle length. It’s not uncommon for women with PCOS to experience less than nine periods a year. Regular menstruation is important for the health of women in their reproductive years. The act of menstruation prevents excessive thickening of the uterus lining. Excessive thickening of the uterus can lead to a buildup of abnormal cells, which can cause serious health issues like cancer.