PCOS Specialist

Emily Sikking, MD

OBGYN located in Santa Monica, CA

Emily Sikking, MD/OBGYN, treats polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) at her Santa Monica, CA, clinic. Finding a qualified, compassionate doctor to diagnose, treat, and manage PCOS is an important aspect of long-term management of the syndrome and its effects on the body.

PCOS

by Emily Sikking, MD

What is PCOS?

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that affects as many as 10% of women, although over half are undiagnosed at any given time. With this syndrome, the pineal, pituitary, adrenal gland, thymus, pancreas, thyroid, and parathyroid are affected, resulting in a hormonal imbalance. Women who have PCOS develop the syndrome at puberty and will have it following menopause. The disease can impact the reproductive system in addition to a variety of other organs, systems, and processes in the body.

What are the causes of PCOS?

The causes of PCOS are unknown, although researchers believe there is a genetic link, and obesity and environmental factors may play a role.

How is PCOS treated?

PCOS is most often treated with a combination of lifestyle changes -- including weight management, diet, and exercise -- and medical management. In many cases, birth control pills, medications, or natural supplements are used in addition to lifestyle changes.

What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?

PCOS symptoms often appear after the first period and continue throughout life if the syndrome is not detected and adequately managed. Symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Excessive facial hair (and hair on the chest, toes, thumbs, and abdomen)
  • Infertility
  • Acne

How is the syndrome diagnosed?

Diagnosis requires multiple steps:

  1. A physical examination
  2. A pelvic examination
  3. Thorough review of medical history and family history
  4. Lab tests to measure blood sugar, cholesterol, sex hormones, and thyroid function
  5. Vaginal ultrasound or other diagnostic test to view and assess the ovaries

There is no single definitive test for PCOS, but Dr. Sikkin will use all of the information gathered through these steps to make a determination and create a treatment plan.