Polycystic ovarian syndrome

Common Name(s)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, Stein-Leventhal syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition caused by the hormone levels in a woman being unbalanced. The ovaries of women with PCOS produce higher than normal levels of male hormones (androgens). Insulin levels (the hormone which helps our cells use sugar and starches for energy) are also higher and may be linked to PCOS. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility. Between 1 in 10 to 20 women of childbearing age are affected by PCOS. PCOS may develop in girls as young as 10 years old.

Symptoms of PCOS may include the growth of small ovarian cysts (fluid filled sacs), acne, excessive hair growth, weight gain and problems with ovulation. Other symptoms include infrequent or absent periods, infertility, male patterned baldness, pelvic pain, sleep apnea, anxiety or depression. Symptoms and severity vary. Having a female relative with diabetes or PCOS may increase your risk.

Diagnosis of PCOS is made through a medical history, physical exam, blood tests and a vaginal ultrasound. Ovarian cysts and enlarged ovaries may be seen in an ultrasound. The lining of the uterus (endometrium) may be thicker in women with PCOS.

The cause of PCOS is unknown. PCOS may lead to infertility and increased risk of miscarriage, premature labor, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. PCOS also increases a woman’s risk for uterine cancer and diabetes later in life. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can also be a result of PCOS and may lead to heart problems. Treatment for PCOS may include dietary changes, birth control pills, diabetes medication, fertility medications, surgery and androgen-reducing medication. If you have been diagnosed with PCOS, talk to your obstetrician or midwife as well as endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in treating hormonal conditions) about the most current treatment options. Support groups are a good source of information and can connect you with other women who are living with PCOS.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Polycystic ovarian syndrome" for support, advocacy or research.

HealthyWomen

HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Our core mission is to educate, inform and empower women to make smart health choices for themselves and their families. For more than 20 years, millions of women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. Through our wide array of online and print publications, HW provides health information that is original, objective, reviewed by medical experts and reflective of the advances in evidence-based health research.

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2015

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General Support Organizations

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How do you compare to others with this condition?

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Polycystic ovarian syndrome" for support, advocacy or research.

HealthyWomen

HealthyWomen (HW) is the nation's leading independent health information source for women. Our core mission is to educate, inform and empower women to make smart health choices for themselves and their families. For more than 20 years, millions of women have been coming to HW for answers to their most pressing and personal health care questions. Through our wide array of online and print publications, HW provides health information that is original, objective, reviewed by medical experts and reflective of the advances in evidence-based health research.

http://www.healthywomen.org

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2015

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Polycystic ovarian syndrome" returned 214 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Is MTHFR 677 C>T Polymorphism Clinically Important in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)? A Case-Control Study, Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis.
 

Author(s): S Justin Carlus, Saumya Sarkar, Sandeep Kumar Bansal, Vertika Singh, Kiran Singh, Rajesh Kumar Jha, Nirmala Sadasivam, Sri Revathy Sadasivam, P S Gireesha, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Singh Rajender

Journal:

 

Optimum efficiency of the folate pathway is considered essential for adequate ovarian function. 677 C>T substitution in the 5, 10-methylene tertrahydrofolatereductase (MTHFR) gene compromises activity of the MTHFR enzyme by about 50%. The significance of correlation between 677C>T ...

Last Updated: 17 Mar 2016

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Controlled Ovarian Stimulation Using Medroxyprogesterone Acetate and hMG in Patients With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treated for IVF: A Double-Blind Randomized Crossover Clinical Trial.
 

Author(s): Yun Wang, Qiuju Chen, NingLing Wang, Hong Chen, Qifeng Lyu, Yanping Kuang

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Mar;95(9):e2939.

 

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) during ovarian stimulation is a current challenge for patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Our previous studies indicated that progestin can prevent premature luteinizing hormone (LH) surge or moderate/severe OHSS in the general ...

Last Updated: 6 Mar 2016

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Iron stores and obesity are negatively associated with ovarian volume and anti-Müllerian hormone levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.
 

Author(s): Jehn-Hsiahn Yang, Chia-Hung Chou, Wei-Shiung Yang, Hong-Nerng Ho, Yu-Shih Yang, Mei-Jou Chen

Journal: Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Dec;54(6):686-92.

 

Obesity and insulin resistance are associated with increased iron stores, but have conflicting effects on ovarian reserve in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Iron-catalyzed oxidative stress might be detrimental to ovarian tissue and granulosa cell function. In this study ...

Last Updated: 24 Dec 2015

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Polycystic ovarian syndrome" returned 29 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

The effectiveness and safety of treatments used for polycystic ovarian syndrome management in adolescents: a systematic review and network meta-analysis protocol.
 

Author(s): Reem A Al Khalifah, Iván D Flórez, Brittany Dennis, Binod Neupane, Lehana Thabane, Ereny Bassilious

Journal:

 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common reproductive endocrine disease that is seen among adolescent women. Currently, there is limited evidence to support treatment options leading to considerable variation in practice among healthcare specialists. The objective of this study ...

Last Updated: 30 Sep 2015

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In Vitro Maturation in Women with vs. without Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
 

Author(s): Charalampos Siristatidis, Theodoros N Sergentanis, Paraskevi Vogiatzi, Prodromos Kanavidis, Charalampos Chrelias, Nikolaos Papantoniou, Theodora Psaltopoulou

Journal:

 

To evaluate in vitro maturation (IVM) in sub-fertile women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF), by comparing outcomes with a control group of non-PCOS.

Last Updated: 5 Aug 2015

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Risk of endometrial, ovarian and breast cancer in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
 

Author(s): John A Barry, Mallika M Azizia, Paul J Hardiman

Journal: Hum. Reprod. Update. ;20(5):748-58.

 

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting ∼8% of women. The objective of the present study was to quantify separately the risk of endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer and breast cancer in women with PCOS compared with non-PCOS controls, and quantify separately ...

Last Updated: 15 Aug 2014

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Paleo Versus Healthy ADA Diets for Treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

 

Last Updated: 19 Sep 2016

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Acupuncture in the Regulation of Dai Meridian for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Patients With Abdominal Obesity
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome; Obesity, Abdominal

 

Last Updated: 4 Jul 2016

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