Women Home > PCOS Symptoms

Common symptoms of PCOS include abnormal menstrual periods, pelvic pain, and weight gain. Women with this condition may also be at an increased risk for developing more serious complications later, but getting symptoms under control at an earlier age may help reduce this risk. Consult your doctor if you have possible PCOS symptoms; they are often seen with other conditions, which will need to be ruled out.

What Are the Symptoms of PCOS?

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone imbalance associated with changes in ovulation and multiple cysts on the ovaries. It can affect a woman's:
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Fertility
  • Hormones
  • Insulin production
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Appearance.
Women can experience a wide variation in the type and severity of their PCOS symptoms.
However, just because you have possible symptoms doesn't necessarily mean you have PCOS. These signs and symptoms are similar to those seen with other diseases, such as thyroid disorders or problems with the adrenal glands.

Common PCOS Symptoms

Common signs of PCOS may include:
  • Infrequent menstrual periods, no menstrual periods, and/or irregular bleeding
  • Infertility or an inability to get pregnant because of not ovulating
  • Increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
  • Acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • Pelvic pain
  • Weight gain or obesity, usually carrying extra weight around the waist
  • Male-pattern baldness or thinning hair
  • Patches of thickened and dark brown or black skin on the neck, arms, breasts, or thighs
  • Skin tags, or tiny excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
  • Sleep apnea (excessive snoring and breathing that stops at times while asleep).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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