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What Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrom (PCOS)

I'm Dr. Margo Harrison, 1 of Poly's medical advisors. Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormone imbalance that impacts 1 in 10 menstruating people. That's 7 million women of reproductive age in the United States. PCOS is characterized by symptoms like irregular or absent periods, difficulty losing weight and insulin resistance, acne, hair loss, hirsutism, mood disturbances, and more.

In order to be diagnosed with PCOS, you must fulfill 2 of the 3 of the Rotterdam criteria. Irregular or absent ovulation, hypoandrogenism, polycystic ovaries, which are detected with an internal ultrasound. If you've been diagnosed with PCOS, chances are you've heard of its potential fertility applications. It's important to know that it can also increase your risk of other conditions, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, estrogen-related cancers, mental health conditions, and more. PCOS is a diagnosis that can be very empowering.

Once it's diagnosed, it's a manageable condition that can be highly responsive to medication, lifestyle changes, and even fertility treatment.