Women's Health Matters

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If I have PCOS, will my daughter or sister develop the condition?
Because PCOS may have a genetic component, family members who are closely related are at an increased risk of having some or all of the symptoms of PCOS. However, there is no guarantee that any of your relatives will develop PCOS.

Can PCOS be treated with herbal supplements?
Some women with PCOS have found relief from their symptoms through alternative therapies, such as herbs, acupuncture, homeopathic remedies and other alternative approaches.

Herbal supplements are unregulated and may interact with prescription medications. Talk to your physician and naturopath if you are considering complementary alternative therapies.

Will removing my ovaries cure my PCOS?
The hormonal irregularities will not be restored to normal levels just because your ovaries are removed. It is possible that removing your ovaries will lessen your symptoms, but this is an extreme approach that will not prove to be a cure.

What is the difference between Syndrome X and PCOS?
Syndrome X, also called Metabolic Syndrome or Insulin Resistance Syndrome, is a combination of insulin resistance or diabetes, high levels of HDL cholesterol (or “good cholesterol”), high blood pressure and obesity (particularly around the waist). One of the main differences between Syndrome X and PCOS is that both men and women can have Syndrome X, while men cannot have PCOS. Syndrome X involves a cluster of symptoms, many of which are also PCOS symptoms – it is this metabolic disorder that contributes most to heart disease. Syndrome X and PCOS have some symptoms in common but it is possible to have PCOS without having all of the Syndrome X symptoms, and some women with PCOS do not have any of them.

What if I have PCOS and am trying to get pregnant?
Many women with PCOS have no trouble getting pregnant, while others do. Having PCOS is also associated with a higher risk of miscarriage. If you are trying to conceive and are not getting pregnant, you will have special considerations and questions to ask your doctor during a consultation. Talk to your doctor about treatments, including those for PCOS and specialized fertility treatments, monitoring before and after pregnancy, and medication use during pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend a medication or hormones to trigger ovulation.

Some women with PCOS find that after being pregnant, their menstrual cycles become more regular.


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  • Women's College Hospital