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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you’re not alone. As many as 5 million women in the United States are affected with PCOS, 1 a hormonal disorder affecting the length and frequency of periods and causing excess male hormone levels. PCOS is also a common cause of female infertility. 2 At Allegheny Health Network (AHN), we treat these women’s health issues with care and compassion, close to home.

Polycystic ovary syndrome services at Allegheny Health Network: why choose us?

At AHN, we specialize in high-quality, compassionate care, close to home. Our focus is on woman-centric care, including the treatment of PCOS.

At AHN, you can expect PCOS care that is:

  • Collaborative: Our expert physicians, nurses, and staff work closely with gynecologists, endocrinologists, and reproductive specialists to coordinate your care, minimizing appointments and streamlining treatment.
  • Convenient: We offer treatment locations throughout the region at multiple women’s health center locations. If necessary, we streamline appointments to make sure that you meet with several specialists on the same day whenever possible.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: cause and symptoms

Nobody knows for sure what causes PCOS. Most experts think genetics play a role since women with PCOS are more likely to have a mother or sister with PCOS, too. When you have PCOS, your ovaries make more androgens (male hormones) than normal. Because many women with PCOS have too much insulin, which increases production of androgens, experts believe insulin might also play a role.

High levels of androgens affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation. This is why PCOS is a common cause of infertility, which can also be a symptom of the condition. Other symptoms of PCOS may include:

  • Infrequent or irregular periods
  • Increased hair growth
  • Cysts on the ovaries
  • Acne or oily skin
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Male pattern baldness or thinning hair
  • Dark brown patches of skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs
  • Skin tags, excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Sleep apnea, when breathing stops for short periods during sleep

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*For Women’s Health services in the Erie region, visit our Erie Locations pages or Find a Doctor near you.

1. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, How many people are affected or at risk for PCOS? Retrieved Nov. 3, 2017, from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/PCOS/conditioninfo/Pages/risk.aspx

2. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, About Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Retrieved Nov. 3, 2017, from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pcos/conditioninfo/Pages/default.aspx