What are the first signs of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal disorder in women. It affects the women’s reproductive system. Specifically, it affects ovaries. It is a typical condition that affects up to one in ten women of reproductive age (15-21).Hormonal imbalances are the crucial causes of this condition, which can lead to several symptoms such as weight gain, irregular periods, acne, excessive hair growth, etc. These are often the first signs of PCOS. 

first signs of PCOS


Ultimately, these symptoms can cause several health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and infertility. Also, there is no cure for polycystic Ovary Syndrome, but some treatments are available to manage the symptoms.

In this blog, we will discuss what are the signs of PCOS, what causes it, its symptoms, complications, and how to diagnose it. Let’s first discuss its causes,

What are the causes of PCOS?

Some of the common causes of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are:

Sensitivity to Insulin

If you have insulin resistance, then it can cause Polycystic ovary syndrome because the body’s cells become less responsive to insulin in this condition, which can cause high levels of insulin in the bloodstream.

Moreover, ovaries will also produce a large number of male hormones androgens. These hormones can disrupt the menstrual cycle and might be responsible for cyst development in the ovaries.

Unbalanced Hormones

Unbalanced hormones also cause polycystic ovary syndrome. It means an increase in androgen levels in women. No doubt women also produce this hormone, but if it is produced in excess amounts then it affects the ovaries. It means that ovaries produce more follicles than usual, which causes this condition.

Besides androgen, women with this syndrome may also have high luteinizing hormone (LH) and lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which can break the menstrual cycle and cause irregular periods or infertility, which causes polycystic ovary syndrome.


According to research, polycystic ovary syndrome may run in families.

What are the Signs of PCOS?

It means the first symptom that a person may have of this condition. And there are many; for example,

Irregular Periods or Absence of Periods

An irregular period is often one of the first signs of PCOS.

 Women affected with the syndrome may have infrequent periods, or they may experience periods that are longer or shorter than usual. It is due to hormonal imbalances that can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle. 

Specifically, higher levels of androgens and luteinizing hormone (LH) and lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) cause irregular periods.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is not necessarily one of the first signs of PCOS, but it is a common symptom. This syndrome can cause weight gain. Because it affects the body’s ability to use insulin properly, which can lead to increased hunger and overeating.

Effect on Fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome can affect fertility and cause difficulty getting pregnant. 

If a woman has this condition, then she may have irregular periods or she may not ovulate regularly, which can make it more difficult to conceive. 

Besides this development and release of eggs can also be interrupted by irregular menstrual cycles.

Additionally, if a woman with this condition wants to conceive then she may need to consult with a doctor.


When women develop excessive hair growth in areas of the body where hair is normally minimal or absent, such as the face, chest, and back, it is known as hirsutism.

Hirsutism can be one of the first signs of PCOS. It is often caused by higher levels of androgens, which are male hormones normally present in women in small amounts.


Affected women may experience more severe or persistent acne than normal. Because sebaceous glands in the skin produce more oil if you have polycystic ovary syndrome. This oil can clog the pores, which leads to acne.

Hair loss from Head

Hair loss from the scalp is another one of the first signs of PCOS.

Women may experience hair thinning or loss on the scalp.

Higher levels of androgens are the main cause of this condition. Because it can cause the hair follicles to shrink and produce thinner, weaker hair.

Stress and Anxiety

You may also experience stress and anxiety due to this syndrome.

What are the Complications related to PCOS?

It can lead to the following complications:


It causes hormonal imbalances, which can interfere with ovulation, making it more difficult to conceive.

Metabolic syndrome

If a woman has this syndrome, then she can easily be affected by metabolic syndrome. In which you may experience a cluster of conditions such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes

If a woman has polycystic ovary syndrome, then she might develop type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease

This ovary syndrome affects the heart and blood vessels which increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Endometrial cancer

This ovary syndrome can also cause cancer in the lining of the uterus, it is known as endometrial cancer.

Depression and anxiety

Women may also face depression and anxiety due to hormonal imbalances and physical symptoms caused by polycystic ovary syndrome.
So, one must seek medical advice if they are facing these symptoms and want to avoid further health problems.

How do I Diagnose PCOS?

The diagnosis of ovary syndrome is done through a combination of tests. These tests are named as physical examination, blood tests, and ultrasounds.

Doctors look for signs of high levels of androgens (male hormones), irregular periods, and cysts on the ovaries.

Thus, the diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome is made when a person meets at least two of these three criteria. Some common tests for the ovary syndrome diagnosis are:

Blood Test

In blood tests, doctors check the levels of hormones that play a role in Polycystic ovary syndrome. For example, high levels of testosterone are often a sign of ovary syndrome.


For Polycystic ovary syndrome diagnosis, doctors use a transvaginal ultrasound to look for cysts on the ovaries. These results, along with blood test results, can help doctors diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, PCOS can cause several symptoms, from irregular periods to infertility. Also, it can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated.

So, you must seek medical advice as soon as you experience any of the first signs of PCOS. Because treatments are available to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life.

With the right treatment, you can live a healthy life with this condition.

Medical Terminologies Used in this Article


In simple words, ovaries are egg-making and hormone-making factories in a woman’s body. These are part of their reproductive system.


Cysts are like little bubbles filled with liquid that can grow in different parts of the body. Sometimes, they can grow on the ovaries but don’t cause any problems. If they do, medical treatment is necessary.


Follicles are small spaces inside the ovaries. In these follicles, eggs grow and prepare for release.


These are the “male hormones” because they are typically higher in men than women.

Luteinizing Hormones

These work as the messengers that travel from the brain to the ovaries and tell them to release an egg each month.

Follicle-stimulating hormones

Follicle-stimulating hormones are little helpers that help the eggs inside the ovaries grow and get ready to be released.

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