Signs and symptoms of polycystic ovaries can be quite distressing for an individual. These symptoms include acne, irregular periods, excessive facial hair, infertility, etc. The symptoms are such that it is natural for people to first visit a family doctor, gynecologist or a dermatologist.
Who treats PCOS?
People get really stressed and rush to whichever doctor comes to their mind. This can lead to increased chances of PCOS complications. Visiting a PCOS endocrinologist is the only right way forward.
It’s a common belief that one should visit a gynecologist in case of ovarian cyst symptoms, but some gynecologists themselves refer PCOS patients to PCOS endocrinologist.
Why should one consult an endocrinologist?
PCOS is a disorder of the endocrine system, i.e. the chemical messaging system that utilizes hormones to control various bodily functions. It consists of a group of glands that produce hormones that are then transported into the circulatory system to reach particular organs to perform their respective tasks. This is why PCOS endocrinologist is the doctor to visit for disorders endocrine diseases like PCOS.
Can PCOS be completely cured?
There is no cure for PCOS, but a PCOS endocrinologist can offer treatment based on the patient’s condition, age, and pregnancy plans. The treatments include contraceptives, surgery, androgen-blocking medication, hormone therapy etc.
Is any other doctor also required?
Since the endocrine system is spread across the body, there are a variety of polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms and signs and one might need other specialists along with the PCOS endocrinologist. These include:
Infertility is one of the major symptoms of PCOS. If the patient wants to get pregnant in PCOS, she may need a fertility specialist to help her conceive naturally or prescribe alternate conceiving methods like IVF.
PCOS can bring with it oily skin, male-pattern baldness, & unwanted facial hair. One might need a dermatologist’s help to reduce the appearance of acne, get rid of the marks & unwanted hair, etc.
The good news is that weight reduction can minimize the symptoms of PCOS. A dietician can guide the patients reduce weight.
Sometimes, mood swings or a feeling of depression can accompany polycystic ovary syndrome. Psychologist/Psychiatrist consultation might help in such cases.
Many PCOS endocrinologists have a self-sufficient team of all these doctors so as to provide a comprehensive care.
How to select the right doctor?
Patients should consider these points before finalizing the doctor:
- Does the family doctor recommend this specialist?
- What are the reviews or personal experiences of other people?
- What are the qualifications of the doctor?
- How many years of practice/experience?
- Which doctor is more preferred male or female?
- How far is the clinic/hospital? Is it easily accessible?
Visiting the right PCOS endocrinologist is not enough. One should follow the advice regarding medications, diet and exercise, and regularly go for follow-up examinations as well. It is wiser to seek a second opinion before taking a major step like surgery.