Can Polycystic Ovaries Make You Feel Sick? Explaining the Details

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No, polycystic ovaries don’t make you feel sick. In fact, this is one of the reasons women may stay undiagnosed with the disorder while having it for quite a long time. According to the CDC, 6 – 12% of American women have a polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What Is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?

This medical condition belongs to the group of endocrine disorders. Its first manifestations usually appear in the late teens or early 20s. The time of detecting the problem significantly depends on the presence of any symptoms of the disease. In some women, there will be every one of them, while others may have only one symptom. In the latter case, PCOS is often diagnosed at the point, where a woman fails to conceive and starts looking for the issue. The number and severity of symptoms affect women’s physical well-being, so the answer to the question ‘can PCOS make me feel sick’ is – it depends.

As the name suggests, PCOS is associated with the appearance of cysts on the ovaries. Those produce androgens, which are excessive for the female organism. The hormonal imbalance resulting from this is the major cause of all symptoms of the disease.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for this illness. However, women can live a long and happy life with it if they get proper medical care.

Types of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Depending on what has provoked your disease, it is subdivided into four types:

  • insulin resistant;
  • post-pill;
  • adrenal;
  • inflammatory.

Let’s have an in-depth look into each of them, as there are significant differences between the reasons they appear and the prognoses for the effectiveness of treatment.


pcos polycystic

Insulin Resistant

The insulin-resistant type of PCOS is diagnosed in 64.4% of women with this endocrine disorder. Among the causes of this kind of polycystic ovaries, there are:

  • excessive sugar in your diet;
  • smoking;
  • the presence of trans fats in your meals;
  • being overweight.

High levels of insulin in the blood prevent a woman from ovulating and provoke her ovaries to secrete testosterone instead. On the other hand, the presence of PCOS can eventually cause a woman to develop diabetes, type 2. Based on CDC, this happens in 50% of cases.


Taking birth control, women rarely know that this may cause the so-called post-pill PCOS. The pills suppress ovulation, which should normally restore after discontinuing them. In some women, however, the recovery of normal ovarian function doesn’t occur. This condition may continue for months or even years, so it needs treatment. By the way, this is the second most common type of this female health disorder.


The adrenal glands produce testosterone, DHEA-S (an androgenic sex hormone), and stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. When living under continuous stress or going through severely stressful episodes of life, the secretion of all the hormones in the adrenal glands grows. This includes the growth of the levels of androgenic hormones. If excessive hormone production is related to the function of your adrenals, you have an adrenal-type PCOS. From the total number of diagnosed cases, this type affects 10% of women.


Some chronic inflammatory disorders, like eczema, and inflammatory bowel disease, can eventually cause your ovaries to produce more testosterone than they should. This results in a violated menstrual cycle, skin issues, and other symptoms signaling the development of polycystic ovaries. By taking control of inflammation, there is a chance to reduce the unwanted symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms of PCOS

The symptoms signaling polycystic ovaries vary significantly among the affected individuals. Can PCOS make you feel ill? Yes, it can, especially if you don’t get treatment and your symptoms flourish.

A certain set of symptoms appear most common. These include:

  • Abnormal menstrual cycle. Women with PCOS may have several issues related to their menses. They may miss them for months, have them late, or have them regularly, but the bleeding goes heavy.
  • Excess hair growth. Due to the abnormally high levels of male hormones, women often face the problem of dark hair growing in places where it normally doesn’t grow in women. You may notice dark hair growing on your face, chest, breasts, and stomach.
  • Thin hair and intense hair loss. The latter may resemble male pattern hair loss, so you’ll see a receding hairline and a lack of hair on the vertex.
  • Acne and overall skin oiliness;
  • Rapid body mass increase for no clear reason. Fat is most often concentrated on the thighs and lower abdomen.
  • Trouble getting pregnant. Irregular menses signal the absence of ovulation. But even if a woman does have a period, the duration of the cycle varies significantly, so it’s very difficult to figure out the precise ovulation day. Conceiving a baby in such circumstances is very difficult. Still, it’s possible if you have regular sex.

PCOS Causes

Medical specialists point out several major causes of the disorder, including:

  • Abnormal levels of androgenic hormones;
  • Resistance to insulin;
  • Chronic inflammation;
  • Stress (prolonged or acute stressful situations);
  • Genetics;
  • Excessive weight, and others.

Very often it’s the combination of two or more factors that leads to the development of polycystic ovaries.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Treatments

The treatment of PCOS involves medicinal therapy as well as bringing in some lifestyle changes. Here’s what you can do without waiting for your doctor’s advice:

  • Eat healthily.Enrich your diet with fruit, vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, and other products that can keep your weight and blood sugar under control.
  • Lose extra pounds. Excess weight and obesity significantly increase your chances of getting sick.
  • Be physically active. Workouts and overall physical activity are great stress removers.
  • Give up smoking and other unhealthy habits you may have.

As for the rest of the treatment options, they should be agreed upon with your healthcare provider. Usually, they recommend taking

  • Medicines for blood glucose control, like Metformin;
  • Anti-inflammatory preparations;
  • Drugs to stimulate ovulation, like Clomid;
  • Treatments for acne and hair loss, like Spironolactone;
  • Medications to stimulate hair growth if receding hair is the symptom bothering you.

Overall, the therapy is picked relying on the cause of your disease and its symptoms. Therefore, it should be prescribed individually after a careful medical checkup.


A polycystic ovarian syndrome is a lifelong condition. Therefore, your primary task should be to learn to control its symptoms so that they have minimum impact on your life.


Can PCOS make me sick?

This depends on the type and severity of the symptoms you have. Some women feel this disorder intensely, while others have minimum manifestations.

Can PCOS cause nausea and fatigue?

The disease itself won’t provoke nausea but may cause fatigue. At the same time, some PCOS treatments may have nausea and fatigue on their side effects profile.

What are the signs that PCOS is getting worse?

If left untreated, the disease will progress, eventually causing some other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, arterial hypertension, and others. You’ll notice it by the growing number and intensity of symptoms.