About 10% of women develop polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affects ovarian function and causes problems such as heavy bleeding and painful periods. At The Ashford Center in Athens, Georgia, Clinton Ashford, MD, FACOG, and Rebecca Ashford, MD, specialize in performing endometrial ablation. While this procedure doesn’t treat PCOS, it’s often recommended for women with heavy bleeding who don’t want more children. If you struggle with PCOS symptoms, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.
PCOS refers to a cluster of symptoms that occur in women with an imbalance of insulin and androgens. High levels of insulin cause blood levels of androgens to increase. Women normally produce a small number of androgens, such as testosterone. But when androgen levels get too high, the ovaries can’t work normally, and ovulation either stops or becomes irregular.
To be diagnosed with PCOS, you must have two of the three key symptoms:
When your androgen levels are high, you’ll develop symptoms such as acne, hair loss, and hirsutism, or excessive, dark hair growth on your face, chest, or thighs. About 70% of women with PCOS have hirsutism.
The hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS affect many functions and systems in your body. As a result, PCOS increases your risk of:
Metabolic syndrome refers to having several chronic problems, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and excess fat around your waist.
Endometrial ablation can’t treat PCOS, but it may be a good option for treating some of the symptoms associated with the condition. More specifically, it’s a highly effective way to stop heavy bleeding and pain.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure to remove the layer of tissue that lines your uterus. This tissue, called the endometrium, responds to your monthly hormone cycles. It thickens for a few weeks, then breaks down and leaves the uterus as your menstrual period if it’s not needed to nurture a fertilized egg.
After the endometrium is gone, your periods either stop, or become very light, and the pain associated with your periods is alleviated. While endometrial ablation is a safe and long-lasting procedure, it’s only performed on women who are sure they don’t want to have children.
To learn more about how endometrial ablation may relieve some of your PCOS symptoms, call The Ashford Center or book a consultation online today.