PCOS is common (affecting up to 10% of women), complex, and more severe than ever! Recent research has linked this condition of androgen excess to many potential risks and complications, including various cancers, cardiometabolic risks, mental health challenges, and ObGyn complications. Recent research has also linked PCOS to blood dyscrasias, prolactin abnormalities, and thyroid conditions.
Our understanding of the complex pathophysiology of PCOS is rapidly evolving. The research includes SHBG levels, androgen’s impact on the gut microbiome, and the interplay with the pituitary-hypothalamic ovarian axis, which influences dysregulation.
The presentation includes oligomenorrhea and hyperandrogenism symptoms, including acne and or hirsutism and cystic ovaries. Obesity is an independent risk factor for PCOS. However, some patients have lean variant PCOS, and we’ll discuss it.
Diagnosing PCOS should be individualized and based on several key considerations. First, many conditions can mimic PCOS, so these must be ruled out based on the clinician’s index of suspicion. The work-up may seem overwhelming, but the work-up can be streamlined and targeted when systematically processed.
Management (both pharmacology and non-pharmacology) should base the goals and concerns of the individual patient regarding their symptoms, risks, and reproductive priorities. Lifestyle changes, patient education, counseling/support, and close follow-up are essential aspects of managing patients with PCOS.
If you want to learn more about PCOS, including the latest research on pathophysiology and the most current diagnostic and management guidelines, I invite you to attend my presentation. It will be an exciting and interactive session.
See Mimi Secor speak at a 2022 Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts CME Conference. Click here to find out where you can see her live and in-person!