AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Some women only have their monthly cycle a few times a year. While that may sound good, it could put you at risk for endometrial cancer and cause infertility.
But women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome can overcome both these odds.
“If you miss one period, maybe that’s stress,” said Dr. Bunja Rungruang, who works at the Georgia Cancer Center in Gynecologic Oncology. “But if you’re missing multiple periods or if you’re only having two to four periods a year, that is definitely not normal.”
Dr. Rungruang told us missing too many periods could signal big problems for women battling polycystic ovary syndrome.
She said, “In PCOS the estrogen continues to build up the lining of the uterus, the endometrium. But you don’t have the other female hormone in the right balance to cause it to thin out and shed like you would for a period. And because of that can continue to increase and cause a pre-cancer and then a cancer in the lining of the uterus.”
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS is a serious genetic, hormone, metabolic and reproductive disorder impacting women. And can lead to more serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and endometrial cancer, something Dr. Rungruang said happens in women who are post menopause and even more now in younger women, impacting their fertility too. But the hysterectomy treatment does not have to be the answer.
“We’re able to manage them with the female hormone that they’re lacking, the progesterone, the one that’s out of balance,” Dr. Rungruang said.
When women with PCOS overcome their cancer challenges, they can see a Reproductive Endocrinologist.
“One of the hallmarks of the disease is inability to release an egg and have predictable ovulation,” said Dr. Larisa Gavrilova-Jordan, Director of In Vitro Fertilization and Oncofertility Services for Augusta University.
Dr. Gavrilova-Jordan, who specializes in IVF and oncofertility, said oral medications, such as Letrozole and lifestyle changes can help. And with organizations such as PCOS Challenge raising awareness nationally and internationally, Dr. Jordan said women are seeking help earlier and having the children they want.
“Patients with PCOS may achieve spontaneous pregnancy with simple adjustments. Though, some patients will require advanced treatments,” she said adding that patients with breast cancer, brain cancer and sickle cell can achieve this dream.