PCOS Specialist

The Ashford Center

Gynecologists & Advanced Endometrial Ablation Specialists located in Athens, GA

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 Advanced Endometrial Ablation. While this procedure doesn’t treat PCOS as such, it can often alleviate symptoms and is recommended for women with heavy bleeding when childbearing is complete. If you struggle with PCOS symptoms, call the office or schedule a consultation online today.

PCOS

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?

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.

What are the symptoms of PCOS?

To be diagnosed with PCOS, you must have two of three key symptoms:

  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding (irregular periods, heavy periods, or no periods)
  • Multiple ovarian cysts
  • Signs of excessive androgens (i.e. acne, hair loss, unwanted hair growth, etc.)

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.

Does PCOS cause health complications?

The hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS affect many functions and systems in your body. As a result, PCOS increases your risk of:

  • Infertility: PCOS is one of the top causes of infertility due to ovulation problems
  • Weight gain: More than half of all women with PCOS gain weight
  • Type 2 diabetes: Insulin resistance is responsible for the high insulin that affects androgens, and untreated insulin resistance turns into Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome: This condition significantly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease

Metabolic syndrome refers to having several chronic problems, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and excess fat around your waist.

How can Advanced Endometrial Ablation help with PCOS symptoms?

Advanced Endometrial Ablation doesn’t directly cure PCOS as such, 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.  It also makes women feel better with respect to PMS symptoms, which in turn helps them focus on a healthier diet and exercise further alleviating the entire PCOS situation.

Advanced 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 they become very light, and pain associated with your periods is alleviated. While Advanced Endometrial Ablation is safe and has long-lasting benefits, it’s only performed on women who are sure they don’t want to have children.

To learn more about how Advanced Endometrial Ablation may relieve some of your PCOS symptoms, call The Ashford Center or book a consultation online today.