Hormone Imbalance Treatment in New York

Hormone Imbalances (PCOS/Thyroid/Prolactin/Hypothalamic)

Hormone imbalances can affect a woman’s fertility. There are several kinds of hormone imbalances which can cause irregular menses.

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can present with 2 of 3 symptoms: irregular ovulation/menses, high testosterone levels (increased hair growth or acne), and ovaries with multiple small cysts on ultrasound. PCOS can affect 5-10% of women. The diagnosis is made by symptoms, blood work and ultrasound. Some women will be overweight and tend to gain weight in their abdomen. Other risks include high cholesterol, insulin resistance/diabetes, and high blood pressure. Often weight reduction and medications can help to alleviate these symptoms.

Thyroid disorders can cause irregular menses. High thyroid levels (hyperthyroidism) and low thyroid levels (hypothyroidism) can cause irregular ovulation. A simple blood test can be performed to diagnose this hormone imbalance. Treatments will commonly result in return of ovulation. It is important to diagnose and treat thyroid disorders as they can affect a pregnant woman’s developing baby.

Prolactin disorders can also prevent ovulation. This is also diagnosed by a simple blood test. Occasionally, an imaging study of the brain is required to rule out the presence of a growth which could be creating the high levels of prolactin. Medication is given to lower the prolactin and commonly results in the return of ovulation.

Hypothalamic disorders are caused from an incorrect signal coming from the brain centers, hypothalamus and pituitary.  The normal brain signals can be altered due to a variety of causes. Some of these causes can include excessive exercising (resulting in athlete’s triad syndrome), eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia), certain medications, stress, etc.  Often a discussion and evaluation with your doctor can help to clarify if this is creating imbalances that can affect ovulation and fertility.