This book on 100 FAQs on PCOS is available in Amazon kindle. 

Here are some of the FAQs addressed in the book 

What is PCOS or PCOD? 

PCOS is a hormonal and reproductive disorder. It occurs because of certain hormone imbalances. With PCOS, a woman's body secretes abnormally high levels of male hormones (androgens) and this counteracts her ovaries' ability to make enough of the female hormone (progesterone) needed for normal menstruation. Because of the low level of female hormones, women with PCOS typically have fewer periods than most women (called oligomenorrhea) and sometimes have no periods at all (called amenorrhea). Their periods can also be irregular with lengthy bleeding episodes, light or heavy flows, or frequent spotting. 

What about the cysts which are commonly associated with PCOS?

Most but not all women with PCOS get small, pea-size cysts on their ovaries. The cysts are caused by follicles (fluid-filled sacs that contain an egg) that have matured in the ovary, but because of the abnormal hormone levels, were never released. In PCOS, one or both of the ovaries can also become enlarged, sometimes up to 1.5-3 times their normal size. 

What are the symptoms of PCOS? 

There are several symptoms of PCOS! Some women may only have one or two and others may have them all. The symptoms include, 

Infrequent periods, no periods, and/or irregular bleeding

Inability to get pregnant Acne 

Excess hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, arms and legs 

Male pattern baldness 

Weight gain 

Diabetes, and 

Velvety, light brown-to-black markings on the skin around the neck and under the arms.

 Some of these symptoms like irregular periods are time to time occurrences normally also in healthy women. This alone should not be considered as a criterion for PCOS diagnosis. Always consult a certified gynaecologist if in doubt.

Does PCOS put you at risk for other serious conditions? 

Women with PCOS experience a plethora of symptoms that can lead to or signify the presence of other serious conditions and diseases like obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and infertility. But most importantly, PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women nowadays. 

What other risks are associated with PCOS other than infertility? 

Usually, the main effect of PCOS that always remains under spotlight is infertility to its physical and mental debilitating nature. But this is not the case and there are several other risks are associated with PCOS like Hirsutism (hair growth), insulin resistance, heart disease risk factors and even possible uterine cancer. 

How do health care providers diagnose PCOS? 

Health care providers may suspect PCOS if you have eight or fewer periods per year, excess body hair or acne, or irregular periods. After obtaining a clinical history suggestive of PCOS, your health care provider will rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms. Some of these conditions include: Excess hormone production by the adrenal glands, called adrenal hyperplasia. Problems with the function of the thyroid gland A woman who has at least two of the following three conditions may be diagnosed with PCOS: Long-term absence of ovulation (the process that releases a mature egg from the ovary) that leads to menstrual irregularities High levels of androgens that do not result from other causes or conditions or signs of high androgens, such as excess body or facial hair More than 12 cysts of a specific size on one or both of the ovaries (as detected by ultrasound) Some women diagnosed with PCOS have the first two symptoms but no cysts on their ovaries.

How can PCOS be treated? 

PCOS is nowadays treated by a combination of different methods. Surgery, Controlled birth control pills intake and other drugs in equivalent ratios help in controlling the effects of PCOS. There are a handful of treatments that work to alleviate the symptoms, generally in isolation: birth control, Metformin, ovarian drilling, fertility drugs, Vanique, etc. Unfortunately, none of these actually solve the underlying problems and many create additional side effects. 

Does a pregnant woman with PCOS require special care? 

Some special monitoring may make sense — such as earlier gestational diabetes screening or home glucose monitoring. Beyond that it depends on the PCOS symptoms experienced by the patient before pregnancy. Anyone taking medication may require additional monitoring. Many of the issues one needs to watch for are included in routine pregnancy care like blood pressure check etc. 

What kind of monitoring is recommended? 

Even if pregnancy is not desired, women with PCOS should be sure to have their blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides checked once per year. Those who are also hypothyroid should also monitor TSH to make sure medications are working properly. 

Is there anything that can be done to reduce the chance of miscarriage in a woman with PCOS? 

The primary way to reduce miscarriage associated with PCOS is to normalize hormone levels. For women with low progesterone levels in the luteal phase, improving ovulation through the use of clomiphene citrate, or injectable FSH or FSH/LH may help the problem. Addressing ovulation issues is more useful than progesterone supplementation as low progesterone is usually a symptom of a problem, such a weak ovulation, rather than the actual cause of miscarriage. Normalizing blood sugar and glucose levels may help, and lead to lower androgen levels.