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Women with PCOS can be at an increased risk for developing several other conditions. Irregular menstrual periods and the absence of ovulation cause women to produce the hormone estrogen but not the hormone progesterone. Without progesterone, which causes the endometrium to shed each month as a menstrual period, the endometrium becomes thick. This can cause heavy bleeding or irregular bleeding. Eventually, this can lead to endometrial hyperplasia or cancer.
Women with PCOS are also at higher risk for:
Getting PCOS symptoms under control at an earlier age may help to reduce this risk.
Researchers are looking at how male hormone levels change as women with PCOS grow older. They think that as women reach menopause, ovarian function changes and the menstrual cycle may become more normal. Even with falling male hormone levels, however, excessive hair growth continues, and male pattern baldness or thinning hair gets worse after menopause.