PCOS Specialist

Melissa G. Drake, M.D. -  - OB-GYN

Melissa G. Drake, M.D.

OB-GYN & Women’s Health Doctor located in Santa Barbara, CA

Approximately one in 10 women have polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which may be of little consolation if you’re one of them. PCOS is a difficult condition to live with, affecting your health, as well as your appearance, which makes compassionate, effective care key. Dr. Drake offers such care to women in Santa Barbara, California, helping them find relief. To learn more about the best in PCOS care, call or book an appointment online.

PCOS Q & A

What is PCOS?

Your body is a very complex system that relies on balance to ensure that everything functions properly. When something comes along and disrupts that balance, the effects can be far-reaching. Such is the case with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.

PCOS is caused by an imbalance in the reproductive hormones produced by your ovaries. This imbalance impedes the proper formation and release of your eggs, leading to fertility problems and the formation of small cysts on your ovaries. In fact, PCOS is one of the most common drivers behind infertility in women.

The other result of PCOS is a disproportionate level of androgen, the hormone associated with male characteristics. This imbalance can cause women to develop male-like characteristics, such as thinning hair on their heads and unwanted hair growth in other areas.


What causes PCOS?

There’s no known cause of PCOS. Medical researchers believe that genetics play a large role in whether you develop the syndrome and excess insulin due to weight issues may also increase your risk of developing PCOS.


What are the symptoms of PCOS?

The most common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Cysts on your ovaries
  • Infertility
  • Hirsutism, which is unwanted hair on your face, back, and other areas typically associated with male hair growth
  • Thinning hair on your scalp
  • Acne
  • Weight gain


How is PCOS treated?

Since there’s no cure for PCOS, Dr. Drake treats the condition on a case-by-case basis depending upon your symptoms and your goals. There’s much Dr. Drake can do to manage the more unfortunate outward symptoms, including hormone therapies and anti-androgen medications.

These medications can be tricky, however, if you’re trying to get pregnant. If that’s your situation, Dr. Drake works with you using alternative solutions, which may include:

  • Supplements
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Ovulation medication
  • In vitro fertilization

Dr. Drake typically takes a multi-pronged approach that incorporates natural and medicinal solutions. Often, there are some lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, that can have a big impact on your PCOS.

To get started on treating your PCOS, call Dr. Melissa Drake, or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.