Many women present to their OB/Gyn physician with concerns regarding infertility and are subsequently diagnosed with this disorder. The classic symptoms associated with women who have undiagnosed PCOS include:
- Unpredictable or prolonged menstruation
- Increased hair growth all over the body (hirsutism)
In many instances, women may begin to present with these symptoms shortly after they begin their menses. However, it may present later in a woman’s reproductive years as well, especially if the individual has gained a significant amount of weight. Increased weight gain can result in the increased production of estrogen, creating a hormonal imbalance.
In women with PCOS, a pathognomonic sign is multiple cysts within the ovaries. These cysts can be visualized by a medical provider via trans-vaginal ultrasound. Due to the excess production of androgens, male-pattern baldness may also be a symptom associated with PCOS. While most of these signs and symptoms are classic indications of this disorder, each individual is still unique and may present with a variety of different signs and symptoms. It is imperative as a physician to evaluate each patient individually and evaluate each of their symptoms equally. Through a physical examination the patient can then be appropriately diagnosed.