In this edition of Check Up, Barbara Myers and her guest Professor Adam Balen from Leeds General Infirmary will be offering advice about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Weight gain, excessive body hair, acne and irregular periods are just some of a myriad of symptoms that women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can suffer from.
Symptoms may be mild for some, but for others, they are wide ranging and more severe.
It is not known what causes PCOS, but daughters have a fifty percent chance of inheriting it from their mother.
The syndrome is triggered by an imbalance in some, or all, of the hormones that control the menstrual cycle. Many women with the condition have raised levels of the hormone insulin. This causes the ovaries to produce an imbalance in hormones, including an overproduction of testosterone.
These raised testosterone levels cause some sufferers to develop acne and excessive body hair (hirsutism).
Many PCOS sufferers are embarrassed by the affect their symptoms have on their appearance and become socially isolated and depressed.
The syndrome also puts sufferers at an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer, type II diabetes and heart disease.
While there’s no cure for the syndrome, there’s a lot that can be done to help manage the symptoms.