Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can greatly interfere with your ability to have a child and increases your risks for developing other serious health issues, such as diabetes.The team of highly qualified healthcare providers at Embry Women’s Health in Mesa, Arizona can develop a comprehensive treatment plan that successfully controls both the symptoms and impact of PCOS on your life.
What is PCOS?
PCOS is caused by an imbalance of the reproductive hormones that control the development of eggs in the ovaries. During a normal menstrual cycle, an ovary releases an egg each month that travels down a fallopian tube to the uterus. PCOS causes fluid-filled sacs, or cysts, to form in the ovaries. This combination of hormone imbalance and ovarian cysts can hamper the normal development of eggs and interfere with ovulation, or the monthly release of eggs. PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women, but it usually responds very well to treatment.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms can vary greatly in intensity but often include:
- Irregular periods that might occur less than 8 times a year or occur more frequently than is typical, such as every 21 days or less
- Cessation of menstrual periods
- Appearance of coarse, dark hair on the face, chest, and other areas where men typically have hair
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Skin tags in the armpits and neck area
- Thinning hair that resembles male-pattern baldness
- Darkening of the skin underneath the breasts and in the groin
What are some of the health concerns related to PCOS?
Women with PCOS are at higher risk for:
- High blood pressure
- Elevated LDL or “bad” cholesterol and decreased HDL or “good” cholesterol
- Sleep apnea, which also raises your risks of diabetes and high blood pressure
- Depression and anxiety
- Cancer of the endometrial tissue lining the uterus
What are the treatments?
The nurse practitioners at Embry Women’s Health use a combination of treatments that focus on an individual’s symptoms, desire to have children, and other potential health concerns.
If you’re not trying to get pregnant, medications for PCOS may include:
- Hormonal birth control to regulate your menstrual cycle, decrease acne, and lessen unwanted hair growth on the face and body
- Anti-androgen medications that help reduce hair loss on the scalp, reduce facial and body hair, and improve the appearance of acne by blocking the effect of androgens, or male sex hormones
- Metformin to lower blood sugar and androgen levels
If you want to get pregnant, treatment may include:
- Recommendations for weight loss with guidance regarding a healthy diet and increased activity
- Diagnostic studies to rule out other causes of infertility in you and your partner
- Medication to improve ovulation, such as Clomid
Embry Women’s Health is committed to providing quality, affordable health care. We’re in-network with all major insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. No insurance? No problem. We offer a simple fee schedule for those who wish to pay out-of-pocket. Click the button below for our complete list and more information:
Words from our patients
JoEllen is AMAZING! Not only is she professional- she makes your whole experience comfortable. If you’re looking for a professional that never judges your situation and treats you very well- I would definitely recommend this office!
5 Stars – Yelp
It is refreshing to meet a practitioner who sees the whole patient and not just a series of symptoms. JoEllen is willing to spend the time to ask questions and really listen to the responses. I have seen JoEllen several times and I have always appreciated how much time she spends with each appointment and her pragmatic approach with solutions. I feel like my health drives the appointment and not the schedule. Finding JoEllen’s practice was like finding a needle in a haystack, a caring practitioner who encourages patients to listen to their bodies and to be their own best advocate.
5 Stars – 10/11/2018
Friendly staff. JoEllen is incredibly kind, patient and answers all of my questions whenever I see her. I don’t feel like I am being rushed when I am there, it is very nice.
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
I went in as a new patient just for an annual exam and Dr. Barbara Lockwood was so professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. She made sure to answer any and every question I had and she made sure I understood everything I needed to know. I have been to some offices in the past where you feel judged but she was so kind and made me feel so comfortable talking to her! I will be moving away soon but I might just have to make the drive back to see her next year!
5 Stars – 10/4/2018
“I started seeing Joellen earlier this year and I have had nothing but good experiences every time I have gone back. She is very down to earth and listens to any concerns. I would highly recommend Embry Womens Health.”
5 stars – 09/28/2018