PCOS Health implications

The ‘cysts’ found in PCOS do not present a health issue and will not need to be removed surgically.

Abnormal menstrual cycle

An abnormal menstrual cycle in some women with PCOS can make them more susceptible to certain health problems in later life, but there are good treatments to help prevent these. Some women may have a significantly disrupted cycle, fewer than four periods a year. Such patients may not be ovulating regularly and fertility could be compromised.

Insulin resistance

Over time there is an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes, diabetes in pregnancy, a high cholesterol level and, possibly, high blood pressure. About 10-20% of women with PCOS develop diabetes at some point. These problems may also raise your risk of having cardiovascular diseases in later life.

Pregnancy

There are certain problems that may arise during pregnancy, including a greater chance of having babies too early and pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy). There is also an elevated risk of developing diabetes in pregnancy: twice as likely in women with PCOS compared with the rest of expectant mothers. Regular monitoring of blood glucose tolerance is advisable during pregnancy in patients with PCOS.