PCOS and endometriosis each affect roughly 10% of women who are of reproductive age. Because infertility can be a symptom of both conditions, many women are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s while trying to conceive. Keep reading to understand the differences between PCOS and endometriosis, and available treatment options—being aware of the symptoms means you can seek an early diagnosis, and treat the condition.
What Is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Symptoms of PCOS include irregular or heavy periods, and excess levels of the male hormone androgen, which can cause unwanted facial hair and acne. Some women also experience ovarian cysts—small sacs fill with fluid along the ovaries—but that is not a guarantee, despite the official name of the syndrome.
What Is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a condition when the lining of the uterus, or the endometrium, grows outside of your uterus where it doesn't belong. This results in painful menstruation, sex, and even stomach or bowel pain.
Can You Have Both?
Yes, it is possible to have both PCOS and endometriosis—you would experience any combination of the symptoms for each condition. For example, you may have extremely heavy and painful periods. If you think you may have one or both conditions, consult your gynecologist for testing and treatment options.
How Are They Treated?
Because PCOS is a hormonal condition, certain lifestyle and dietary changes can help balance your hormones and reduce your symptoms. Other treatment methods for PCOS include birth control and progestin therapy—which have also been effective treatments for endometriosis as well. In certain cases of endometriosis, surgery may be required.
If you’ve experienced symptoms of PCOS or endometriosis, or want to schedule a routine exam, the team at Caring For Women provides supportive and confidential healthcare. They have been caring for the women near Anchorage, AK, for over 20 years. Schedule an appointment today by visiting their website or calling (907) 279-2229.