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New Women’s Health clinic focuses on PCOS

Sep. 28, 2017, 8:44 AM

A new clinic aimed at helping women with one of the most common hormone disorders recently opened at the Center for Women’s Health at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks.

The Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) clinic opened in July and is already seeing a robust patient volume, according to Michelle Roach, M.D., assistant professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).

“We established a comprehensive care clinic to diagnose and treat women with PCOS,” she said.

“In many respects, caring for women with PCOS is a part of the everyday well-woman exam, but because it affects more than just gynecology, we wanted a specialized clinic to address all of our patients’ needs.”

The clinic is run by Roach and endocrine specialist Melissa Wellons, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The pair works to provide complete care and refer patients to Dermatology and the Center for Medical Weight Loss when appropriate.

PCOS affects 5 to 10 percent of women, who can experience varying effects including irregular periods, problems with weight, diabetes, acne and infertility.

Because women present differently, treatments are very individualized.

“We work with each patient to identify her specific needs,” said Roach. “One of the main questions we receive is what is the actual cause of PCOS? We don’t have a definitive answer, but there are likely both genetic and environmental causes. PCOS is a lifelong condition.

“We want to help our patients understand all of the aspects of the disorder and what we can do to help. With good counseling, appropriate follow-up care and prescription medications, women can live a normal life.”

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