What Is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?


A woman at a free women's clinic discussing PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal disorder that is commonly found among women of reproductive age. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome can have prolonged or infrequent menstrual periods and high levels of androgen, which is a male hormone. The ovaries of women with PCOS can develop many small follicles inside them and can fail to produce eggs regularly.


The precise cause of PCOS is still undetermined by the scientific world. As per the professionals in free women’s health clinics, early detection of the condition and treatment, together with weight loss can help reduce the risk of long-term complications including heart problems and type 2 diabetes.


Symptoms Of PCOS 

Symptoms of PCOS can develop around the time of the first menstrual period and in some cases, PCOS can develop at a later stage, for instance, as a response to a substantial gain in body weight. The prodromes of PCOS can vary and a prognosis of PCOS is made when a minimum of two of the below signs are observed.


Polycystic Ovaries 

The ovaries of the person can be enlarged and can have follicles around the ovum or egg. Due to the presence of these follicles, the ovaries can fail to function properly.


Irregular Periods 

Prolonged, infrequent, or irregular periods are some of the most common signs of polycystic ovarian syndrome. The person might have less than nine periods per year or heavy and prolonged periods.


Excess Androgen 

The levels of male hormone in the body of the person will be high which can result in physical signs like excess body and facial hair, male pattern baldness, and occasionally severe acne.


Causes Of PCOS                   

Some of the factors that can play a role in PCOS are discussed below.


Excess Levels Of Insulin 

Insulin is the hormone that allows the cells in the body to use sugar which is the main energy supply of the body. If the cells in the body become resistant to insulin, then the blood sugar levels will increase and the body will produce more insulin which can result in an increase in the production of androgen, which can lead to difficulties in ovulation.


Excess Androgen Levels 

The ovaries can produce androgen in very high levels, which can lead to acne and abnormal hair growth.


When To See A Doctor? 

You can see a doctor in a free women’s clinic in your area if you have problems with your periods, if you have infertility, or if you have signs of excess androgen.  

Book an Appointment

    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

    To Book an Appointment

    We are standing by to assist you.

    Please call 310-706-2594