The most common immediate symptoms are anovulation, excess androgenic hormones, and insulin resistance. Anovulation results in irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, and ovulation-related infertility. Hormone imbalance generally causes acne and hirsutism. Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol levels. The symptoms and severity of the syndrome vary greatly among those affected.
Common symptoms of PCOS include the following:
- Menstrual Problems: These can include few or no menstrual periods or heavy, irregular bleeding.
- Insulin Resistance and Hyperinsulinemia: Failure of normal levels of insulin in the blood to produce normal biological responses and an unusually high level of insulin in the blood respectively.
- High Levels of Masculinising Hormones: The most common signs are acne and hirtuism but may produce heavy and prolonged menstrual periods, increase hair thinning or diffuse hair loss and other symptoms.
- Infertility: This generally results from chronic annovulation (lack of ovulation)
- Metabolic Disorder: A disorder of energy utilisation and storage. This appears as a tendency towards central obesity and other symptoms associated with insulin resistance.
- Hirsutism: Excessive hair growth on a woman’s face or body
- Sleep Apnea: A temporary cessation of breathing during sleep
- Skin Tags: Skin growths that look like small, soft balloons of hanging skins
- Darkened Patches of Skin: Usually under the arms, in the groin area, or the back of the neck
- Obesity/Weight Gain or Difficulties Losing Weight
- Hair loss from the scalp
- Multiple Follicles (Cysts) on the Ovaries
- High Blood Pressure
- Decreased Sex Drive
- Pelvic and Lower Abdominal Pain
- Depressions/Depression with anxiety and/or Mood Swings
- High Cholesterol and High Triglycerides
- Acne and Oily Skin
- Increase in stress levels