Westover Hills Women's Health
OBGYNs located in San Antonio, TX
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can cause acne, difficulty losing weight, and even interfere with your ability to become pregnant. Dr. Houmam Al-Hakeem is a trusted, board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist in San Antonio who can develop an effective treatment plan for this complex disorder. If you’d like real relief from your PCOS symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Al-Hakeem today at Westover Hills Women’s Health.
PCOS Q & A
What is PCOS?
PCOS is caused by an imbalance of the hormones needed for reproduction. It affects between 5% and 10% of women. All women produce a small amount of so-called male hormones or androgens. Women with PCOS have elevated levels of androgen. This creates problems with the normal function of the ovaries.
Your ovaries produce the egg released each month during ovulation. When you have PCOS, the egg may not mature normally or may not be released at all. Without a mature and viable egg, you can’t get pregnant. PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility in women.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
PCOS symptoms typically develop around the time your menstrual cycles begin and can include:
- Problems losing weight
- Severe acne that’s resistant to treatment
- Infertility or significant difficulty becoming pregnant
- Irregular periods that can include prolonged menstrual cycles, absence of periods, or fewer than nine periods a year
- Excessive facial hair, male pattern baldness, and other signs of elevated levels of male hormones (androgens)
What is the treatment for PCOS?
There’s no cure for PCOS. Treatment generally focuses on the problems it creates. For instance, if you’re overweight, Dr. Al-Hakeem may recommend increased physical activity, healthy nutrition geared toward weight loss, and other lifestyle changes.
Because insulin resistance often occurs with PCOS and can cause difficulty with ovulation and weight loss, Dr. Al-Hakeem may recommend treatment with metformin -- a medication often used in type 2 diabetes to control insulin levels.
To treat infertility and regulate abnormal ovulation caused by PCOS, Dr. Al-Hakeem may also recommend:
- Treatment with clomiphene (Clomid)
- Letrozole to stimulate ovulation
Having too few periods in a year can increase your risk of developing cancer of the lining (endometrium) of your uterus. To avoid this, Dr. Al-Hakeem may recommend treatment with a combination birth control pill, one that contains progestin and estrogen, to reduce androgen production and regulate your periods.
Birth control pills that effectively lower abnormal androgen levels also reduce:
- Excessive facial hair growth (hirsutism)
- Severe acne outbreaks
Regardless of the severity of your PCOS symptoms, Dr. Al-Hakeem can design a treatment plan that effectively decreases the ways PCOS interferes with your life. Call for your appointment today or consider using his convenient online scheduling service.