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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), is a healing opportunity that can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, hormones, insulin production, cardiovascular system, and physical appearance. The primary defining characteristic of this disease, is the growth of many, cysts inside the ovaries. PCOS is typically caused by Insulin Resistance and may take the form of numerous symptoms, which vary from woman to woman. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Irregular Periods (which may include any of the following medical conditions)
    • Amenorrhea - Absence of periods
    • Oligomenorrhea - Unusually infrequent periods
    • Secondary amenorrhea - Periods that have stopped
  • Weight Gain
  • Infertility
  • Hirsutism - Excessive Hairiness in Females
  • Thinning Hair
  • Acne
  • Other Skin Problems - Including Skin Tags, and darkening and thickening of the skin.
  • Depression and Anxiety

PCOS Symptoms in Detail:

Irregular Periods. Typical menstrual cycles arrive on a regular basis, 12 times a year. Nine or few menstrual cycles per year may be a sign of PCOS. Bleeding may be heavier than normal.

Weight Gain. Many women with PCOS gain weight around their abdomen, taking on an round shape rather than a pear shape.

Infertility. The high levels of excess insulin seen with PCOS can stimulate the ovaries to produce large amounts of the male hormone testosterone, which can prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month.

Hirsutism. Due to hormone imbalances, for most PCOS sufferers, hair in the mustache and beard areas becomes heavier and darker. Masculine hair on the arms and leg is also possible, as well as hair on abdomen, chest or back, together with more growing in the pubic area.

Thinning Hair. Just as heavier hair growth is possible, so is the type of hair thinning that many men experience which, in men, is known as alopecia.

Acne. The acne is usually found around the face (especially along the jaw line), chest and back.

Other Skin Problems.

  • Skin tags – thick lumps of skin sometimes as large as raisins – can form as a result of PCOS. They are usually found in the armpits, at the bra line or neck and can easily be removed by a dermatologist.
  • Darkening and thickening of the skin can also occur around the neck, groin, underarms or skin folds. This condition, called Acanthosis Nigricans, is a sign of Insulin Resistance, the underlying cause of PCOS.

Depression and Anxiety. Many women with PCOS may find themselves more anxious or depressed by their appearance or their inability to become pregnant. Depression can also be caused by hormone problems.


For more information about PCOS, please visit the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) pages at Insulite Labs.

Posted by Staff at November 26, 2006 7:56 PM

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