Polycystic Ovary Disease

Valley Endocrine

Endocrinologists located in Fresno, CA

Are you experiencing infertility, irregular periods, and other symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)? PCOS is an endocrine disorder that responds best to evaluation and care from a skilled specialist. Paul Norwood, MD, at Valley Endocrine in Fresno, California, is a highly respected, nationally recognized endocrinologist who is well versed in diagnosing and designing effective treatment strategies for PCOS. His patient-first focus creates a welcoming atmosphere at Valley Endocrine. Call to schedule an evaluation today or book your visit online.

Polycystic Ovary Disease Q & A

Valley Endocrine

What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS is a metabolic disorder characterized by abnormal hormone (androgen) levels and is related to problems with the endocrine system.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

Signs and symptoms of PCOS can vary but often include:

  • Infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles
  • Excessive facial and body hair
  • Severe acne
  • Hair loss that mimics male-pattern baldness
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight despite healthy dietary changes and exercise

PCOS is considered the most common cause of female infertility because of polycystic ovaries that fail to release mature and viable eggs regularly. Thus, if you’re struggling with infertility, it may be the most reliable sign that PCOS could be an issue.   

What causes PCOS?

Numerous glands within your endocrine system are responsible for producing hormones that keep your body healthy and functioning normally. Androgens, for instance, are hormones responsible for many so-called male traits, including increased hair growth and muscle mass. Testosterone is probably the most well-known male androgen.

In women, androgens are converted into estrogens within the ovaries. Estrogen is critical to your reproductive cycle and ovulation. Your ovaries also produce a small amount of testosterone. When your estrogen to testosterone ratio or androgen production is out of balance, you can develop PCOS.

Other issues linked to PCOS include:

  • Excess insulin in your bloodstream that can increase androgen production and cause difficulty with ovulation
  • Low-grade systemic inflammation, often linked to obesity, which can stimulate polycystic ovaries to overproduce androgens

How do you diagnose and treat PCOS?

Along with a physical exam and detailed discussion of your symptoms and health, Dr. Norwood may recommend blood tests to measure hormone levels and other diagnostic studies, such as a glucose tolerance test to identify how your body responds to insulin.

Treatment for PCOS varies and may include:

  • Birth control pills to help rebalance your hormones and regulate your menstrual cycles
  • Medication to help improve insulin resistance and decrease sugar levels in your bloodstream
  • Changes in diet and exercise to decrease your weight

Call today, or use the online service, to schedule a PCOS evaluation at Valley Endocrine.