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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome




Symptoms to watch for

Primary Symptoms

  • Insulin resistance
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Infertility
  • Irregular, heavy or absent menstrual periods

Additional Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Hair thinning on scalp
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Excess hair growth (hirsutism) on face and body
  • Acne, oily skin, and/or darkened skin patches or skin tags
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight gain, particularly around mid-section, and difficulty losing weight
  • Pain caused by ovarian cysts

PCOS Brochures

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, aka Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS, is an endocrine disorder that involves excess androgen (testosterone) hormones and is often characterized by the formation of fluid-filled cysts in one or both ovaries.

  • PCOS affects persons assigned female at birth of all ages.
  • It is the most common endocrine, or hormone, disorder in females, known to affect 5 -10 million women in US (1 in 10 women). However, it is estimated that as many as 50% of women with PCOS remain undiagnosed.


Women diagnosed with PCOS meet two of the following three diagnostic criteria.

  • Irregular, heavy or absent menstrual cycles
  • Hyperandrogenism: chronic high androgen (hormone) levels
  • Polycystic ovaries: multiple fluid-filled sacs are found in the ovaries

NOTE: Symptoms of PCOS tend to be highly individualized. For example, a person can have PCOS without having cysts on their ovaries.


As a hair and skincare professional, your electrologist can be a partner in your PCOS journey.

  • Electrolysis treatments provide permanent hair removal to address excessive hair growth (hirsutism) as well as healing for ingrown hairs that may have resulted from previously used temporary hair removal techniques, such as shaving, sugaring and depilatory creams.
  • In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that the mechanism of electrolysis can positively impact acne and oily skin, improving the overall appearance of client’s skin.

Next Steps

What should you do if you think you might have PCOS?

  • Make an appointment with a physician who can test you for PCOS.
  • Physicians who treat the underlying mechanisms of PCOS include General Practitioners, Endocrinologists, and Obstreticians/Gynecologists.
  • In addition to Electrologists, consultations with Dermatologists, Nutritionists, Psychologists and Naturopaths may help address the symptoms of PCOS.

Managing PCOS

While there is currently no cure for PCOS, multiple treatment options have been developed to address both underlying mechanisms and the symptoms of PCOS.

  • Condition is managed with diet, exercise, medications to treat hormones, and interventions such as hair removal to manage physical symptoms.


It is important to seek treatment for PCOS because it is a precursor to additional health risks.

  • Insulin resistance increases the risk of prediabetes and diabetes.
  • Metabolic irregularities increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Depression, mood swings, and anxiety can result from hormonal imbalances and/or discomfort with physical appearance.
  • Thickening of the endometrial lining can increase the risk for endometrial cancer.

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