Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Insufficient Milk Production

Hormonal levels - being either too high or too low - can influence milk production: overproduction, inadequate milk supply, or even inhibited let-down.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine-metabolic disorder in which the presence of multiple cysts interferes with ovarian functions. The prevalence of PCOS is anywhere between 3 - 20 percent. Formerly known as Stein-Leventhal syndrome, it is considered a possible risk factor in insufficient milk production. PCOS is not considered a disease, but rather a group of symptoms - and for the most part, it is poorly understood.

Common symptoms of PCOS include amenorrhea, hirsutism, high testosterone and insulin levels, multiple ovarian cysts, and menstrual abnormalities that usually begin in adolescence.

When a new mother is experiencing a delay with her milk coming in, a care giver would be advised to ask questions regarding her history of menstrual problems, infertility, miscarriages, and ovarian cysts. This information could give hints as to why there is a problem.

However, keep in mind, not all women diagnosed with PCOS have problems with milk production. As many as one-third of these women report having an over-production of milk!