4 Types of PCOS (a Flowchart)

Types of PCOS.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is not one disease. Instead, it’s “a heterogeneous disorder with different underlying biological mechanisms.” In other words, it’s a set of symptoms (androgen excess and anovulatory cycles) caused or driven by several different underlying factors. To successfully treat PCOS, you need to identify which factor (or factors) is driving the symptoms. In other words, you need to know your functional type of PCOS.

The four functional types of PCOS include insulin-resistant PCOS, post-pill PCOS (which is temporary), inflammatory PCOS, and the far less common adrenal PCOS.

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4 Causes of Androgen Excess in Women

If you suffer hair loss, facial hair (hirsutism), or acne, then you know all about androgen excess or high male hormones.

You may have been given the diagnosis of PCOS but there are actually several different reasons for androgen excess in women including androgen hypersensitivity, adrenal androgen excess, high prolactin, menopause, and hormonal birth control with a high androgen index.

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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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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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