Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition connected to hormonal imbalances in the body, which can cause multiple physical side effects, such as skin problems, menstrual cycle issues, and even infertility. It is thought that 10% of women experience PCOS.
At University Reproductive Associates, with offices in Hasbrouck Heights, Wayne, and Hoboken, New Jersey, our fertility experts can diagnose PCOS and treat symptoms ranging from skin-related issues to conception and infertility challenges related to this common condition.
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, several tell-tale signs can contribute to receiving a diagnosis. Some of the most common PCOS symptoms are:
- Irregular, painful, or very heavy periods
- Hirsutism (excess body or facial hair growth)
- Infertility or miscarriage
- High blood pressure during pregnancy
- Metabolic syndrome
- Gestational diabetes or type 2 diabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Depression or anxiety
- Skin issues
PCOS skin symptoms
PCOS-related skin problems can be noticeable and bothersome. There are three ways PCOS can affect your skin:
Acne may appear on the lower parts of your face, including the jaw, neck, and chin. Certain areas are more prone to scarring and take longer to heal.
Also known as excessive hair growth, hirsutism often causes excess hair growth on the chin, neck, back, chest, and stomach area in women with PCOS.
Acanthosis nigricans are dark, velvety spots that can appear in the armpit or around the neck. They are caused by PCOS-related insulin resistance.
Managing skin symptoms of PCOS
Thankfully, there are many evidence-based treatment options for PCOS. For skin-related issues, we typically recommend lifestyle changes, including planned weight loss via diet modification and exercise. We may also recommend hormonal birth control, prescribe medication to lower insulin resistance, or refer you to a laser hair removal specialist.
PCOS and fertility
Fertility is perhaps the largest concern for many women who receive a PCOS diagnosis. You may struggle with getting pregnant due to hormonal imbalance or because of the interference that the cysts cause with your ovaries’ ability to release eggs during a menstrual cycle. If you’re struggling with PCOS-related infertility, we build a personalized care plan that takes into account your unique needs as you navigate fertility and pregnancy.
To learn more about PCOS and its effect on your skin as well as your fertility, schedule an appointment with the experts at University Reproductive Associates. Call 201-288-6330 for an appointment at the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more options.