PCOS Specialist

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can interfere with fertility and cause an array of other symptoms., Dr. Tureanu uses advanced methods to diagnose and assess PCOS symptoms, developing effective treatment plans focused on the needs of patients in Chicago and Downers Grove, Illinois. If you have PCOS, call the office to learn how we can help, or use our online system to request an appointment now.

PCOS

by Valentin Tureanu, MD, NCMP

What is PCOS?

PCOS stands for polycystic ovary syndrome, a chronic condition that develops when your body produces too many androgen hormones like testosterone. Women normally have some amount of testosterone (just as men have a small amount of estrogen), but in PCOS, levels of androgens are far higher than normal, throwing the natural hormone balance “out of whack.” Inside the ovaries, the increased levels of androgens also stimulate the development of tiny cysts that interfere with normal ovulation.

What causes PCOS?

So far, researchers haven’t determined the underlying cause of PCOS, but they do believe family history of PCOS, high levels of insulin (a hormone that controls levels of blood sugar or glucose), a personal or family history of diabetes, and chronic inflammation may play a role. Some studies also indicate taking certain medications for long periods of time can also increase the risks of developing PCOS, and women who have abnormal periods also may be at an increased risk for polycystic ovary syndrome.

What symptoms does PCOS cause?

Because PCOS interferes with normal ovulation, it also takes a toll on your fertility, making it more difficult to become pregnant. In addition to fertility problems, PCOS causes symptoms like:

  • Acne
  • Facial hair growth or hair growth on the chest
  • Weight gain
  • Abnormal periods
  • Depression, irritability, or other mood-related problems

Plus, if you have PCOS, you’re also at an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

How does the endocrinologist diagnose PCOS?

PCOS diagnosis starts with a physical exam and a review of your symptoms, as well as a review of your personal and family medical histories to look for “clues” and risk factors for PCOS or other conditions that can cause some of the same symptoms. Ultrasound exams are useful in evaluating the structure of your ovaries and looking for the tiny, characteristic cysts. Blood tests are also helpful for determining if you have insulin resistance and for measuring the levels of specific hormones in your blood.

What treatments are available for PCOS?

Right now, there’s no cure for PCOS, but there are treatments that can relieve your symptoms. Dr. Tureanu often prescribes hormone therapy treatments, which can be helpful in:

  • Rebalancing hormone levels
  • Supporting normal ovulation and menstruation
  • Preventing abnormal hair growth
  • Improving your chances of becoming pregnant

If you’re trying to become pregnant and hormone therapy isn’t working, other fertility treatments can also help. And finally, lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet and being more physically active are also important. Since PCOS is chronic, you’ll need to visit Dr. Tureanu regularly for checkups, and you’ll also need to be screened on an ongoing basis for heart disease and diabetes.

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