Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

A Common Endocrine Disorder

What is PCOS?

PCOS is a common endocrine disorder found in approximately 5 to 10% of women. It is the most common cause of excessive testosterone in premenopausal women. Symptoms include:

  • Acne 
  • Excessive hair growth on the lip, chin, trunk, and thighs 
  • Thickening of skin on the back of the neck and armpits 
  • Irregular menstrual cycles or lack of periods. 
  • Female pattern hair loss
  • Obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes may be associated

Diagnosis & Treatment

Evaluation often requires bloodwork to look for androgen excess and an  ultrasound to look at the ovaries.

Treatment primarily involves addressing the underlying hormonal abnormality.  The following treatments are often prescribed in PCOS:

  • Combined oral contraceptive pills (birth control pills prescribed by a  primary care physician)
  • Oral spironolactone
  • Acne DS clarifying gel™
  • Traditional topical therapies
  • Isotretinoin
  • Metformin