Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - What Happens
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect your reproductive system and how your body handles blood sugar. It can also affect your heart.
Hormone imbalances can cause several types of pregnancy problems and related problems,
Infertility. This happens when the ovaries
aren't releasing an egg every month. Repeat miscarriages. Gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Increased blood pressure during
pregnancy or delivery, having a larger than normal or smaller than normal baby,
or having a premature baby. Precancer of the uterine lining (endometrial hyperplasia). This can happen when you
don't have regular menstrual cycles, which normally build up and "clear off"
the uterine lining every month. Uterine (endometrial) cancer. Risk during the
reproductive years is 3 times greater in women who have PCOS than in women who
ovulate monthly. 2 Problems with blood sugar
Insulin is a hormone that helps your body's cells get
the sugar they need for energy. Sometimes these cells don't fully respond to
insulin. This is called
insulin resistance. It can lead to diabetes.
Heart problems and stroke
High insulin levels from PCOS can lead to heart and blood vessel problems. These include:
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Coronary artery disease and
heart attack. High
blood pressure. High cholesterol. Stroke.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 26, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Topics