Diabetes in pcos is one of the most common causes of female infertility, affecting 6% to 12% (up to 5 million) of women of reproductive age in the United States. But there is much more to it. This lifelong health condition persists well beyond childbearing age.
Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant; their bodies can make insulin but cannot use it efficiently, which increases their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also have higher levels of androgens (male hormones that women also have), which can stop egg production (ovulation) and cause irregular menstruation, acne, thinning scalp hair, and excess facial and body hair growth.
Women with PCOS can develop serious health problems, especially if they are overweight:
Diabetes - More than half of women with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by age 40.
Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy), which puts pregnancy and baby at risk and can lead to type 2 diabetes later in life for both mother and baby.
Heart disease - Women with PCOS are at higher risk and the risk increases with age.
High blood pressure, which can damage the heart, brain, and kidneys.
High LDL cholesterol (“bad”) and low HDL cholesterol (“good”) increase the risk of heart disease.
The external symbol for sleep apnea is a disorder that causes respiratory arrest during sleep and increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Stroke - Plaque (cholesterol and white blood cells) clogging up blood vessels can lead to blood clots, which in turn can cause a stroke.