Dr. Kirstie Cunningham is a Board Certified OB/GYN who serves residents who live in Atlanta, Georgia, and the surrounding communities. The doctor specializes in offering individualized services to patients who suffer from PCOS.
PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is the result of some degree of hormonal imbalance within the woman's reproductive system. It results in the growth of small cysts or lumps on the outer surface of the ovaries. The cysts may vary in size and number. In severe cases, the cysts may be so prevalent that they begin to hamper a woman's ability to conceive and carry a child. PCOS can affect a woman's monthly cycles, causing their periods to be irregular or cause heavy bleeding. In most cases, the woman may show no symptoms at all. The cysts are eventually uncovered during the woman's yearly gynecological examination.
If the number of cysts remains small or the cysts do not grow to be exceptionally large, the woman may not experience any symptoms of all except for abdominal cramps or irregular periods. If the condition begins to worsen, the woman may have outbreaks of acne or they may gain an excessive amount of weight. They may grow body hair in places that are more commonly found on men. Depression may also be a symptom. The gynecologist will be able to recognize the symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis after having an in-depth talk to the patient about changes they have noticed within their body.
PCOS can have an impact on whether or not a woman can conceive and carry a child to term. Because PCOS is associated with hormonal imbalances, the woman may or may not have the amount of reproductive hormones needed to achieve fertility. Hormone replacement therapy is just one option that can be pursued if a woman is diagnosed with PCOS and still wants to bear children. In order to be declared infertile, the couple must active try to conceive a child for over a consecutive, 12-month period with no success. PCOS may be uncovered during the woman's gynecological exam at which time the doctor will begin to treat the disorder.