Some women start seeing symptoms around the time of their first period. Others only discover they have PCOS after they have gained a lot of weight or they have had trouble getting pregnant.
The most common PCOS symptoms are:
- Irregular periods. A lack of ovulation prevents the uterine lining from shedding every month. Some women with PCOS get fewer than eight periods a year or none at all.
- Heavy bleeding. The uterine lining builds up for a longer period of time, so the periods you do get can be heavier than normal.
- Hair growth. More than 70 percent of women with this condition grow hair on their face and body — including on their back, belly, and chest.
- Acne. Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts on areas like the face, chest, and upper back.
- Weight gain. Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity.
- Male pattern baldness. Hair on the scalp gets thinner and may fall out.
- Darkening of the skin. Dark patches of skin can form in body creases like those on the neck, in the groin, and under the breasts.
- Headaches. Hormone changes can trigger headache in some women.