Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome include menstrual periods that last longer than 35 days, eight or fewer menstrual cycles per year, lack of menstruation for four months or longer, and sustained scant or heavy periods, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include excess facial hair, adult acne and enlargement of polycystic ovaries.
PCOS is a female medical disorder that occurs due to a hormone imbalance, notes WebMD. The condition is characterized by the growth of small cysts on the ovaries, which are not harmful in and of themselves but can lead to hormone imbalances that may affect physical appearance or have other physiological effects.
Although the exact cause of PCOS is not known, doctors believe certain factors are at play, including excess production of insulin, which can interfere with ovulation, low-grade inflammation, which can cause a production of androgens, and heredity, explains Mayo Clinic.
Treatment of PCOS depends on the scope and severity of symptoms and whether a pregnancy is planned. While no cure exists for the condition, controlling it through regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding smoking helps to lower the risk of infertility, miscarriage, diabetes, heart disease and uterine cancer, explains WebMD. Other treatment options include hormone therapy to encourage ovulation.