Symptoms of PCOS

What are the classic symptoms of PCOS?

Without going into the specialized diagnostic criteria (if you’re interested, you can read about that in other posts), women with PCOS may have the following symptoms:

  • Menstrual issues (infrequent periods or lack of a period)
  • Male pattern hair growth (known as Hirsutism)
  • Other hair problems (hair thinning, hair loss)
  • Cysts on the ovaries and/or very large ovaries
  • Acne (especially cystic acne)
  • Weight gain (often in the midsection)
    • Women often report that it is very difficult to lose weight or stop weight gain. This is likely due to insulin resistance, which is part of the disease process in PCOS.
  • Infertility (due to lack of ovulation/lack of a period)
    • Not all women with PCOS suffer from infertility. For those that do, it IS possible to get pregnant with PCOS, though some women may need fertility treatments.
  • Skin Tags
  • Dark patches under the armpits or in other places where the skin folds/rubs
  • Mood changes, anxiety, and depression
  • Pain (related to cysts, periods, etc.)
    • It is important to note that women can also have heavy and prolonged periods due to excess male hormones
  • Headaches (related to hormonal changes)
  • Sleep Issues (especially related to sleep apnea)
  • Fatigue

If you experience other symptoms or have questions, talk to your doctor or feel free to comment below!



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