PCOS Specialist

ForeViva Medical Clinique

Joelle Osias, MD

Gynecologist & Aesthetics located in Menlo Park, CA

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a gynecological problem that afflicts one in 10 women of childbearing age, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. At ForeViva Medical Clinique of Menlo Park, California, Dr. Joelle Osias specializes in preventing, diagnosing, and treating PCOS. If you’re experiencing symptoms or have concerns, call the office, or book on the website today for compassionate women’s healthcare.

PCOS Q & A

What is polycystic ovary syndrome?

Polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS, is a gynecological hormonal disorder that affects women of childbearing age. PCOS can result in prolonged menstrual periods or excess levels of androgens, or male hormones.

In many cases of PCOS, the ovaries develop a number of small collections of fluid, or follicles, and can’t regularly release eggs.

What are the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome?

Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Excess levels of the male (androgen) hormones that can cause moderate to severe acne, male-pattern baldness, and excess facial and body hair
  • Irregular, infrequent, or prolonged menstrual cycles and abnormally heavy menstruation
  • Enlarged polycystic ovaries that contain follicles surrounding the eggs

What causes polycystic ovary syndrome?

The exact cause of PCOS isn’t clear, but there are certain factors that can play a role.

Excess insulin

Insulin is the hormone produced by your pancreas that allows your cells to properly utilize sugar as one of your energy sources. If your cells become resistant to insulin over time, your blood sugar levels can rise, invoking your body to produce even more insulin to combat this surge.

Androgen production increases with high amounts of insulin and can impact ovulation.

Low-grade inflammation and excess androgen

Low-grade inflammation refers to the higher amount of white blood cells that produce substances to fight infection. The low-grade inflammation can stimulate polycystic ovaries and androgen production in some women. Many women have excess androgen production for unknown reasons.

Genetics

Researchers have linked specific genes to the condition.

The symptoms of PCOS usually develop during puberty or the first menstrual period. In some cases, PCOS can develop later, often due to substantial weight gain.

Complications of PCOS include:

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Liver inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Eating disorders
  • Anxiety and depression

How is polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosed?

PCOS is typically diagnosed with methods, such as:

  • Transvaginal ultrasound
  • Discussion of medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Pelvic exam
  • Blood tests and lab work

What are the treatments for PCOS?

Dr. Osias treats PCOS with a number of methods, including:

  • Nutrition, for example, a lower carbohydrate diet to regulate insulin
  • Exercise to decrease androgen production
  • Weight loss, if necessary
  • Contraception, such as combination birth control pills that contain estrogen and progestin
  • Other medications

If you have concerns or symptoms of PCOS, Dr. Osias can help. Call or book online to take care of your reproductive health.