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PCOS - Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:

  • infertility
  • cysts on the ovaries (immature eggs)
  • absent, infrequent, and/or irregular menstrual cycle
  • weight gain or obesity, usually with extra weight around the waist
  • pelvic pain
  • hirsutism: increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs, or toes
  • acne, oily skin, or dandruff
  • hair loss
  • skin tags - underarms; groin and nape of the neck
  • dark brown or black skin patches on the neck, arms, breasts or thighs
  • excess flaps of skin in the armpits or neck area
  • anxiety or depression
  • sleep apnea - when a person stops breathing for short periods of time while asleep


Women suffering from PCOS have higher chances of infertility, miscarriage, gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (preeclampsia) and premature delivery. Babies born to women with PCOS have an increased risk of being admitted in a neonatal intensive care unit or dying before, during, or shortly after birth. Women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing multiple serious disorders, including life-threatening diseases.

Some of the medical conditions that PCOS may lead to are:

  • type 2 diabetes - a lifelong condition that causes the blood sugar level to become extremely high
  • depression and mood swings - because the symptoms of PCOS can affect your confidence and self-esteem
  • high blood pressure and high cholesterol - which can lead to heart diseases and stroke
  • sleep apnoea - overweight women may also develop sleep apnoea, a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep
  • women with absent or very irregular periods (fewer than three or four periods a year) due to PCOS for many years have a higher-than-average risk of developing cancer of the womb lining (endometrial cancer).