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Health Protocols

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Symptoms of PCOS

One of the challenging aspects of diagnosing PCOS is that the signs and symptoms vary from person to person, in both type and severity. Frequently, PCOS symptoms are mistaken for other medical illnesses. However, common symptoms include:

Menstrual Abnormality

Menstrual abnormality is the most widespread characteristic of PCOS. These include cycles longer than 35 days (fewer than eight menstrual cycles a year); failure to menstruate for four months or longer; and prolonged periods that may be scant or heavy.12

Excess Androgen Production

Increased androgen levels are a key feature of PCOS and may result in excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), adult acne, and male-pattern baldness (in women). Worth noting, however, is that the physical signs of androgen excess vary with ethnicity. As an example, the prevalence of hirsutism in PCOS patients is at least 40% in European and American females, yet is even more common in darker skin types, but women of Asian descent may not be affected.13

Polycystic Ovaries

Enlarged ovaries containing numerous small cysts can be detected by ultrasound. However, some women with polycystic ovaries may not have PCOS, while some women with the condition have ovaries that appear normal.14