Is It PCOS or Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (Undereating)?

PCOS versus hypothalamic amenorrhea.

What is the difference between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hypothalamic amenorrhea?

PCOS is the condition of androgen excess when all other causes of androgen excess have been ruled out. It can also cause irregular periods.

Hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) is the loss of periods due to undereating. It can also present with mild acne, facial hair, and polycystic ovaries.

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PCOS Cannot Be Diagnosed (or Ruled Out) by Ultrasound

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) cannot be diagnosed by ultrasound because polycystic ovaries are not cysts. They’re follicles or eggs which are normal for the ovary.

It’s normal for all women to sometimes have a higher number of follicles. It’s normal for young women to always have a higher number of follicles because young women have more eggs. That’s why PCOS cannot be diagnosed by ultrasound. At the same time, PCOS cannot be ruled out by ultrasound because it’s possible to have normal-appearing ovaries on ultrasound and still have the hormonal condition PCOS.

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How Testosterone Causes Weight Gain in Women

Testosterone causes weight gain in women.

In women, too much testosterone can cause insulin resistance and abdominal weight gain.

That’s why androgen excess is a factor in the weight gain associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), menopause, and some types of birth control.

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The Secret Powers of Ovulation (It’s Not Just for Making a Baby)

benefits of ovulationOvarian hormones estrogen and progesterone are beneficial for health. That means natural ovulatory menstrual cycles are beneficial for health because ovulation is how women make hormones.

Does that surprise you? Men make testosterone every day, so you might think women do something similar, but we don’t. Instead, women make hormones as a surge of estradiol leading up to ovulation and an even bigger surge of progesterone after ovulation.

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