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What is Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age, with symptoms ranging from irregular periods to weight gain and fertility issues. Are you living with PCOS and looking for guidance on managing its symptoms and improving your overall well-being? Let's explore the symptoms checklist for PCOS, delve into its causes and symptoms, and discuss the importance of exercise in managing this condition.

puzzle with PCOS
PCOS may be difficult to diagnose and manage, without the right medical guidance.

PCOS Symptoms Checklist

Typical symptoms include:

  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles: Women with PCOS often experience irregular or absent menstrual periods due to hormonal imbalances.

  • Excess Androgen Levels: Elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) can lead to symptoms such as acne, hirsutism (excess hair growth), and male-pattern baldness.

  • Polycystic Ovaries: On ultrasound examination, women with PCOS may have enlarged ovaries with multiple small follicles, known as cysts.

  • Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance and metabolic abnormalities are common in women with PCOS, contributing to weight gain, difficulty losing weight, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

pcos symptoms list
PCOS symptoms may vary in severity and physical and mental impact.

Understanding PCOS Causes and Symptoms
  • Hormonal Imbalances: PCOS is characterized by hormonal imbalances, including elevated levels of androgens and insulin, and decreased levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). These imbalances disrupt the menstrual cycle and contribute to the development of cysts on the ovaries.

  • Genetic Factors: While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, genetic factors are believed to play a role in its development. Women with a family history of PCOS or other hormonal disorders may be at increased risk.

  • Lifestyle Factors: Poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity can exacerbate symptoms of PCOS and contribute to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.

The Role of Exercise in PCOS Management

woman with doctor
A fantastic way to help with PCOS is to engage in moderate exercise and cardio workout, such as brisk walking, running, cycling, or swimming.

  • Improving Insulin Sensitivity: Regular exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity, making it easier for cells to use glucose for energy and reducing the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

  • Managing Weight: Exercise plays a crucial role in weight management for women with PCOS, helping to reduce excess body fat, improve metabolism, and regulate hormone levels.

  • Promoting Hormonal Balance: Physical activity can help regulate menstrual cycles, reduce androgen levels, and alleviate symptoms such as acne and hirsutism.


By understanding the symptoms, causes, and management strategies for PCOS, women can take proactive steps to optimize their health and well-being. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine, along with a balanced diet and medical treatment as needed, can help you live well with PCOS and thrive despite its challenges.

If you have more questions, chat our wellness assistant, or book a session with one of our OBGYN or endocrinology specialists to find out more about PCOS and any symptoms you may be experiencing.

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