DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
CLICK TO ENLARGE
|Polycystic ovary syndrome|
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age. The name of the condition comes from the appearance of the ovaries in most, but not all, women with the disorder — enlarged and containing numerous small cysts located along the outer edge of each ovary (polycystic appearance).
Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. In adolescents, infrequent or absent menstruation may signal the condition. In women past adolescence, difficulty becoming pregnant or unexplained weight gain may be the first sign.
The exact cause of polycystic ovary syndrome is unknown. Early diagnosis and treatment may reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Wilson EE. Polycystic ovarian syndrome and hyperandrogenism. In: Schorge JO, et al. Williams Gynecology. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=3157034. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Clinical manifestations of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Ehrmann DA. Polycystic ovary syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2005;352:1223.
- Azziz RA, et al. The androgen excess and PCOS society criteria for the polycystic ovary syndrome: The complete task force report. Fertility and Sterility. 2009;91:456.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Frequently asked questions. The National Women's Health Information Center. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Guzick DS. Polycystic ovary syndrome. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2004;103:181.
- Radosh L. Drug treatments for polycystic ovary syndrome. American Family Physician. 2009;79:671.
- Barbieri RL, et al. Treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Tapanainen JS, et al. Effective regimens for ovulation induction in polycystic ovary syndrome. In: Dunaif A, et al. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Current Controversies, From the Ovary to the Pancreas. Totowa, N.J.: Humana; 2008:307.
- Gonzalez F, et al. Increased activation of nuclear factor kappaB triggers inflammation and insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2006;91:1508.
- Diamanti-Kandarakis E, et al. Insulin resistance in PCOS. In: Farid ND, et al. Diagnosis and Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. New York, N.Y.: Springer Verlag; 2009:35.
- Abbott DA, et al. Fetal origins of polycystic ovary syndrome. In: Dunaif A, et al. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Current Controversies, From the Ovary to the Pancreas. Totowa, N.J.: Humana; 2008:87.
- Berrino F, et al. Reducing bioavailable sex hormones through a comprehensive change in diet: The diet and androgens (DIANA) randomized trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. 2001;10:25.