How to Recognise PCOS Symptoms - dummies

How to Recognise PCOS Symptoms

By Gaynor Bussell

Part of Managing PCOS For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is described as a syndrome rather than a disease because it shows up as a group of signs and symptoms that can occur in any combination. Here are some of the symptoms:

  • Period disruption. Periods can be heavier, lighter, irregular or absent altogether.

  • Weight gain. This is mostly due to high levels of insulin circulating in the blood.

  • Acne and oily skin. Women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of testosterone.

  • Different hair growth patterns. Your body may get hairier in certain places but hair may thin on your head.

  • Sleep problems and fatigue/exhaustion. This can be due to fluctuating hormone levels and also increased anxiety.

  • Depression, anxiety, irritability and mood swings. These symptoms are probably due to disrupted hormone levels.

  • Fertility problems. PCOS can disrupt ovulation.

  • Metabolic Syndrome: This is a cluster of symptoms which includes insulin resistance (where insulin produced by the body does not work efficiently), high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It can lead to diabetes and heart disease.