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Symptoms of PCOS

Symptoms of PCOS include very irregular or absent periods, large, cystic ovaries and obesity

Women with PCOS experience an array of symptoms which are often found in different combinations from person to person. These symptoms include very irregular or absent periods (100%), large and cystic ovaries (95%), obesity (75%), excessive body hair growth or acne (70%), cholesterol and/or triglyceride abnormalities (70%), family history of hypertension, heart diseases, obesity and irregular periods (100%). Many symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome start gradually and, at first, may be thought to be related to some other medical problem. You may have only a few symptoms or many symptoms.

Early symptoms of PCOS:

  • Fewer than eight menstrual cycles in a year, more than 35 days between cycles, or no menstrual periods.
  • Failure to ovulate each month occurs in almost 50% of women with PCOS.
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding. This symptom occurs in about 30% of women with PCOS.
  • Excess hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, back, stomach, thumbs, or toes. More than 70% of women with PCOS complain of excess hair growth.
  • Skin problems, such as acne, oily skin, dandruff, dark skin patches (acanthosis nigricans) on the neck, groin, underarms, or in skin folds, or skin tags (acrochordons) in the armpits or neck area.
  • Depression or mood swings. Many women have emotional problems related to the many physical symptoms of PCOS, such as excess hair, obesity, or infertility.

Gradual symptoms of PCOS:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis (chronic pelvic pain)
  • Weight gain or upper body obesity (more abdominal fat than hip fat). This is also known as android obesity and is related to increased male hormone (testosterone) levels
  • Infertility
  • Symptoms of insulin resistance, which increases the risk of developing diabetes in women with PCOS. You may also develop diabetes at a younger age because of PCOS. About 30% of women with PCOS have impaired glucose functioning, and 7% to 10% have type 2 diabetes. Some symptoms associated with insulin resistance include skin changes, such as skin tags or dark skin patches (acanthosis nigricans) and upper body weight gain
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Male pattern baldness or thinning hair (alopecia)

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