Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also known as PCOS, is the most common disorder of the endocrine system found in reproductive-aged women. Of these women, 70% present with complaints of acne, hair loss (alopecia), irregular periods, and excessive hair growth of the face, chin, upper lip, lower abdomen or inner thighs.  PCOS occurs when an endocrine imbalance results in elevated levels of estrogen, testosterone and luteinizing hormone (LH), causing a decreased secretion of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).  Multiple follicular cysts develop on one or both ovaries (hence the name polycystic ovary) and produce excessive amounts of estrogen.

Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial tissue (tissue that lines the inside of the uterus) on the outside of the uterus. The most common sites for growth are the ovaries, fallopian tubes, lining the inside of the pelvic cavity, cervix, bladder, bowel, liver and lungs. Approximately 33% of women who suffer from chronic pelvic pain are found to have endometriosis. It is also found in 20-40% of women with infertility. Caucasian race, early onset of menarche, short menstrual cycles, and a first degree relative with endometriosis are all risk factors related for this disorder. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. There are an estimated 2.5 million breast cancer SURVIVORS! Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since the early 1990s, and we believe this is attributed to early detection, proper screenings and increased awareness.  I encourage all of our patients to perform self-breast exams monthly.

In most females, breast tissue can be somewhat lumpy. When women are menstruating, they often experience increased breast discomfort and lumpiness. The ideal time to perform a breast exam or have a mammogram is during the first week after your menstrual cycle. The breast is comprised of milk secreting glands, milk ducts, fatty tissue and lymphatic tissue. There are two major components to a self-breast exam – inspection and palpation. Let’s review proper technique for both.

The Human papillovavirus, more commonly known as HPV, has quickly become the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. It is estimated that as many as 6 million people will be newly diagnosed every year. Nearly all sexually active men and women will be infected at some point in their life. Of those with an HPV infected partner, 60% will contract the virus.

Most HPV infections have no symptoms and resolve on their own spontaneously. When an infection persists and a woman is unable to eradicate the virus, problems can arise. As many of us know, HPV has been linked to cancer. These strands of HPV are known as “high risk HPV”. Other strands are considered low risk, these types cause genital warts.