Polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is a complicated hormonal condition that affects an estimated one in 10 women of childbearing age (five to 12 percent, depending on the population that is sampled). However, these numbers may vary, as many women have PCOS but do not know it. Although PCOS can be diagnosed by a healthcare provider, symptoms often go ignored until a woman tries to get pregnant – 75 percent of women with PCOS struggle to conceive.
Women with PCOS produce more male hormones than usual, which causes enlarged ovaries with multiple small cysts due to the follicles not maturing into eggs. This leads to a host of physical symptoms, many of which go ignored. Ob-Gyn Nataki Douglas, MD, chair of the Modern Fertility Medical Advisory Board, told POPSUGAR five of the most common symptoms associated with PCOS. If you experience any of these symptoms, she suggests visiting a doctor, ideally someone who is a specialist and familiar with PCOS, hormones, or endocrine functionality who can check for PCOS and offer a proper diagnosis.