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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - Symptoms

Symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) tend to start gradually. Hormone changes that lead to PCOS often start in the early teens, after the first menstrual period. Symptoms may be especially noticeable after a weight gain.

Symptoms may include:

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  • Menstrual problems. These can include few or no menstrual periods or heavy, irregular bleeding.
  • Hair loss from the scalp and hair growth (hirsutism) on the face, chest, back, stomach, thumbs, or toes.
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Fertility problems, such as not releasing an egg (not ovulating) or repeat miscarriages.
  • Insulin resistance and too much insulin (hyperinsulinemia), which can cause things like upper body obesity and skin tags.
  • Depression or mood swings. For more information, see the topic Depression or Depression in Children and Teens.
  • Breathing problems while sleeping (obstructive sleep apnea). This is linked to both obesity and insulin resistance.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 26, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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