Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treated by Specialists at Mercy


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an imbalance of female sex hormones. This video shows how abnormal amounts of certain hormones may cause symptoms. Treatment options are also shown.

The Institute for Gynecologic Care at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, is led by expert gynecologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of common and complex conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome. Our team of physicians works with each individual to determine the appropriate treatment plan.

About the Condition

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs when there is a hormonal imbalance in women of reproductive age. In most cases, but not all, women with the disorder will develop numerous small cysts located along the outer edges of the ovaries. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the risk of long-term complications.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms typically begin soon after a woman first begins having periods and may also develop later on during reproductive years, for example, in response to substantial weight gain. Symptoms vary in type and severity and include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Decreased or complete lack of ovulation resulting in infertility
  • Oily skin and acne into adulthood
  • Excess hair growth on face, arms, chest and abdomen
  • Obesity and tendency to develop Type 2 diabetes
  • Polycystic ovaries containing numerous small cysts

There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. Most cases may be diagnosed with a thorough evaluation of a patient’s medical history, symptoms and physical examinations. Additional tests, such as blood tests and ultrasounds may be necessary to diagnose PCOS.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Since there is no specific cure for polycystic ovary syndrome, treatment generally focuses on management of your individual symptoms and goals. Certain medications and/or therapies may help control individual symptoms, such as unwanted hair growth or obesity. Mercy physicians will help you determine what treatments are right for your goals.