PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause failure to ovulate, cysts on the ovaries and insulin resistance, all of which can affect fertility. The most common symptoms are weight gain, excessive hair growth, irregular periods and infertility. While there are treatment options available to manage the condition, the cause is still unclear. Scientists believe a combination of environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors are to blame.
"Long story short, we still don't know the exact causes of PCOS," Roskin confirmed. "It seems to be a complex metabolic/hormonal process and there also seems to be a genetic or inherited component as well."
Studies indicate PCOS rates are increasing, Roskin added. Some scientists link this trend to increasing type 2 diabetes rates, so there could be a connection between the two, especially as many people with PCOS struggle with weight gain, a risk factor for diabetes.
It's impossible to prevent PCOS or predict who is more likely to be affected. However, there is evidence to suggest it's hereditary, so if you have a mother or sister who has PCOS, you may be at an increased risk of developing it, too.
If you have any symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, you should speak to your doctor right away so they can begin testing. Your doctor will ask you questions related to your experience, and if they feel it's suitable, they may arrange for a blood test, ultrasound and pelvic examination. The sooner you start to manage the condition, the better the outcome could be.