Could Your Mother’s Hormone Levels Be Responsible for Your PCOS?


Understanding the cause of any medical condition is an important step towards finding more effective treatments. We still don’t fully understand the causes of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS, but one recent study has suggested that they could be affecting us even before we are born. The risk of developing polycystic ovaries could be affected by the levels of certain hormones in your mother’s body when she was pregnant with you.

Hormones and PCOS


Polycystic ovaries seem to run in some families, so researchers have been looking at whether the hormonal imbalances associated with the condition could be affecting unborn babies. Mothers with PCOS might then be increasing the chances that their daughters will be affected via their hormones, rather than simply by passing on genes for polycystic ovaries. The researchers found that women with PCOS had much higher levels of a hormone called anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). Giving this hormone to pregnant mice caused their female offspring to display PCOS-like symptoms. Although more work needs to be done to understand the role of AMH exposure in pregnancy, this research may one day help us to understand more about PCOS. Better understanding of the condition could one day lead to improved treatments.

The Causes of PCOS


The latest research has added something to our understanding of PCOS, but there are often multiple factors involved in producing these kinds of conditions. Other factors that are believed to play a role in causing polycystic ovaries include:

  • Genetics may play a role, with some genes making you more likely to be affected.
  • Obesity can increase the risk of developing PCOS.
  • Insulin resistance could increase the chances of PCOS because the higher levels of insulin your body produces can stimulate more testosterone production in the ovaries.
  • Imbalances in various other hormones including luteinising hormone and prolactin have also been associated with PCOS, although the connections are not yet understood.

If you have excess hair that you think is linked to PCOS or you’re experiencing any other symptoms, the best option is to consult a gynaecologist. A specialist should be able to quickly identify the cause and recommend the right treatment approach. Getting treatment for polycystic ovaries may help to alleviate the symptoms, including excess hair growth. However, some women do still suffer from excess body hair despite treatment. You may need to rely on waxing or cosmetic treatments such as laser hair removal if you want to get rid of body hair.

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