Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
(PCOS; Stein Leventhal Syndrome; Polyfollicular Ovarian Appearance; Hyperandrogenic Anovulation; Polycystic Ovarian Disease; PCO; PCOD)
- High levels of male hormones (androgens)
- Insulin resistance
- Hair growth on face and body
- Anovulation—when the ovaries mature few or no eggs
|Ovary and Fallopian Tube|
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- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family members with PCOS
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Age at onset: 15-30 years old
- Irregular menstrual periods or no menstrual period (amenorrhea)
- Undesired hair growth on face and body
- Weight gain
- Dark patches of skin on neck, groin, and arm pit
- Deep voice
- Temporal (right or left side of forehead) balding
- Type 2 diabetes—due to insulin resistance (also glucose intolerance and prediabetes)
- Hyperlipidemia—increased fat and cholesterol in the blood
- Overgrowth and thickening of uterine lining—endometrial hyperplasia, a precancerous condition
- Endometrial cancer
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome—a combination of obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and increased tendency to blood clotting and inflammatory states
- Androgen–free testosterone or total testosterone
- Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS)
- Prolactin and thyroid function tests are often done
- Fasting blood sugar level and fasting insulin are recommended
- Fasting lipid profile is recommended
- Managing symptoms
- Weight loss if overweight; nutrition consultation
Insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and prediabetes management
- Use of oral agents such as: Metformin, Glucophage, Actos, Avandia
- Oral contraceptive
Inducing ovulation (if you want to get pregnant)
- Metformin with or without Clomiphene citrate
- Advanced reproductive technologies
- Preventing complications
- Anti-androgenic medicines for blocking future hirsutism (unwanted hair growth)
- Get regular screenings for diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and fat levels.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a low-fat diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org/For%5FPatients
The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc. http://www.inciid.org
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association http://www.pcosupport.org
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Practice Bulletin No. 108: polycystic ovary syndrome. Obstet Gynecol. 2009.
Baillargeon JP. Use of insulin sensitizers in polycystic ovarian syndrome. Curr Opin Invetig Drugs. 2005:6:1012-1022.
Dambro MR, Griffith HW. Griffith's 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 1999 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999.
Polycystic ovary syndrome. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/reproductive/gynecologic/620.html. Published September 2000. Updated August 2010. Accessed October 23, 2012.
Polycystic ovary syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed . Updated October 17, 2012. Accessed October 23, 2012.
Stadmauer L, Oehninger S. Management of infertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a practical guide. Treat Endocrinology. 2005;4:279-292.
Stout DL, Fugate SE. Thiazolidinediones for treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Pharmacotherapy. 2005;25:244-252.
Vibikova J, Cibula D. Combined oral contraceptives in the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome. Hum Reprod Update. 2005;11: 277-291.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm
- Review Date: 10/2012 -
- Update Date: 10/31/2012 -