Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a fairly common condition in women of reproductive age. The ovaries are enlarged and contain many small cysts. It is associated with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Irregular or absent periods
- Fertility problems
- Excessive hair especially on the face
- Male pattern baldness
- Difficulty in maintaining a healthy body weight
- Insulin resistance
PCOS can be associated with some long-term health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight, especially carrying excess weight around your waist
- Altered levels of fats in the blood
Symptoms of PCOS can be controlled through a combination of diet and lifestyle changes and medication. There is evidence that weight loss and physical activity can significantly improve symptoms.
Verity is a UK charity providing support and information to women diagnosed with PCOS.