Alecia Giovinazzo MD
Board Certified Obstetrics & Gynecology located in Staten Island, NY
Is your menstrual cycle irregular? Are you having a hard time losing weight? You may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is a gynecological condition that causes a hormonal imbalance and increases your risk of other health conditions like diabetes. The team at Alecia Giovinazzo, MD takes a personable approach to your health. They work closely with you to help you understand your PCOS and the treatments that benefit your health. To schedule a consultation, call the office in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Staten Island, New York City, or book an appointment online today.
What is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
PCOS is a common gynecological problem that affects 10% of women of childbearing age in the United States. It’s caused by an imbalance in reproductive hormones that affects ovulation.
Women with PCOS have several hormonal issues: high levels of androgens, which are male sex hormones women produce in small amounts, and low levels of progesterone, which helps regulate ovulation.
PCOS also affects the function of insulin, which is a hormone produced in the pancreas that transports glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
The most common symptom of PCOS is an irregular menstrual cycle. Some women with the gynecological condition may have as few as eight periods a year.
Other PCOS symptoms include:
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Hirsutism (dark coarse hair on the face, chest, or back)
- Thinning hair on your head
- Darker skin in the creases of your neck, under your breasts, or groin
PCOS is also the most common cause of infertility in women.
In addition to the physical symptoms, PCOS also increases your risk of developing other health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and endometrial cancer.
If you have concerns about PCOS, the team at Alecia Giovinazzo, MD can provide the care and the answers you need.
How is PCOS diagnosed?
When you come in with concerns about PCOS, your provider conducts a patient-focused comprehensive exam to help you get answers to explain your symptoms.
No single test can diagnose PCOS, so they perform a complete history and physical exam. First, they ask detailed questions about your symptoms, gynecological and medical history, and family history.
Your practitioner performs a physical and pelvic exam and may request diagnostic tests, such as a blood test to check hormone levels and an ultrasound to evaluate your reproductive organs.
How is PCOS treated?
The team develops an individualized PCOS treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms, your medical history, and your future pregnancy plans.
Your treatment plan may include:
- Hormonal birth control to regulate ovulation
- Anti-androgen medication
- Metformin to improve insulin function
Losing weight also improves PCOS symptoms, so your provider may offer diet and exercise recommendations to help support your weight-loss efforts.
For comprehensive and compassionate care from an experienced OB/GYN, contact the office of Alecia Giovinazzo, MD by phone or book an appointment online today.