PCOS – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
What is PCOS?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is very common endocrine disorder, affecting 10% of all women aged between 12 and 45 in the UK.
Women suffering from PCOS often have higher levels of male hormones, which can cause a number of complications including fertility problems, period problems, acne and most commonly male pattern hair growth (hirsuitism).
What causes PCOS?
PCOS is defined by a combination of at least two of the following three factors, but often all three.
- An increased number of cysts on the edge of the ovaries (often 12 or more)
- Inability to release eggs from the ovaries (ovulate), this can mean skipped periods to none at all
- A high level of male hormones (testosterone) or increased sensitivity to male hormones.
While PCOS often runs in families and is considered to be caused by a genetic disorder the exact cause is still unknown.
It is also thought that Insulin and weight may cause PCOS as women with PCOS tend to have much higher levels of the sugar-regulating hormone in their bodies which causes an increase in the production of male hormones (testosterone).
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
- Acne or very oily skin, caused by fluctuating hormone levels.
- Excess hair – (Hirsuitism) excessive hair growing on the face and other places in a male pattern.
- Irregular periods or no periods caused by cysts developing at the follicles of the ovaries, preventing the release of female eggs (ova). If these aren’t released you wont get your period which will cause problems with fertility.
- Male pattern baldness thinning of the hair and hair loss on the scalp
- Weight can be gained is due to PCOS
- Depression PCOS can be a very distressing condition and many women will at some point experience depression as a result of the syndrome.
How can I treat PCOS?
There is no cure for PCOS but it can be treated and the symptoms can be managed. You should always start by seeing your GP.
Treatments we offer
- Laser hair removal; for any hair you would like removed, our medical-grade Nd:YAG laser can give you permanent hair reduction.
- Skin peels; to clear up acne
- Regenlite; our laser acne treatment can have amazing results and effectively clear up acne
- Dermatologist consultation; our expert dermatologists can give you specialist treatments and advice which can help with acne and hair loss.
Other treatments to consider
- GP consultation; your doctor can let you know what treatments are available to you.
- Losing weight; if you are overweight can have a significant effect on your symptoms
- Hormone treatments; to counter-act the effect of male hormones
- Insulin medication; such as metformin often prescribed to diabetics to control insulin levels
- Surgery; to treat the ovaries directly
For more information on other treatments check out the NHS website