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Business of Health Care: PCOS

Michael Hagerty

Many women – and couples for that matter – have experienced the heartache that comes with difficulty getting pregnant. An inability to become pregnant may be due to many factors. However, among the most common, is polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.

PCOS affects between six and twelve percent of women of childbearing years in the United States, or up to five million women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a hormonal disorder that results in abnormal menstruation cycles and an increased level of androgen. Androgen is considered a male hormone since it is found at much higher levels in men.

PCOS also is associated with enlarged ovaries that contain follicles, which affect the ovaries ability to function properly, and hence can make getting pregnant difficult.

There are additional health risks for women with the condition, especially for women who are overweight. For instance, more than have of women with PCOS develop diabetes by age 40. They also are at an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other potentially serious conditions.

Though the causes of PCOS are unknown, its symptoms are treatable. And with the right treatment, many women with the condition can become pregnant. Treatment often begins with a healthy diet to lose weight. There are also many medications and hormone therapies that can help regulate the menstrual cycle and increase the chances of becoming pregnant.

So while there is not a cure for PCOS, its impacts on affected women’s lives and plans for a family can often be limited with the right care.

Kateleigh joined KWBU in January 2019. She is an Oklahoma native that is making the move to Waco after working as an All Things Considered host and producer at affiliate KOSU Radio in Oklahoma City. She is a former NPR Next Generation Radio Fellow, a Society of Professional Journalists award winner, an Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame recipient for ‘Outstanding Promise in Journalism’ and the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association’s 2017 recipient for ‘College Newspaper Journalist of the Year.’ After finishing up her journalism degree early she decided to use her first year out of college to make the transition from print media to public radio. She is very excited to have joined KWBU and she is looking forward to all the opportunities it will bring - including providing quality journalism to all Texans.
Glenn Robinson has been the President of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Hillcrest since September 2007. He previously held several CEO positions at hospitals in Texas, Oregon, and South Carolina. A Georgia native and graduate of the University of Alabama, Glenn completed graduate school at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.