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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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 199 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Dyslipidaemia in woman with polycystic ovarian syndrome: a case control study in tertiary care hospital of Karachi.
 

Author(s): Amna Hussain, Junaid Mahmood Alam

Journal: J Pak Med Assoc. 2014 Sep;64(9):1049-52.

 

To compare lipid profile in lean and obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome with normal weight and obese controls.

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2015

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MicroRNA-93 promotes ovarian granulosa cells proliferation through targeting CDKN1A in polycystic ovarian syndrome.
 

Author(s): Linlin Jiang, Jia Huang, Lin Li, Yaxiao Chen, Xiaoli Chen, Xiaomiao Zhao, Dongzi Yang

Journal: J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.. 2015 May;100(5):E729-38.

 

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Whether differently expressed miRNAs contribute to promoting granulosa cell proliferation in polycystic ovarian syndrome disease (PCOS) remains unknown.

Last Updated: 9 May 2015

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Enhancement of a robust arcuate GABAergic input to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in a model of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
 

Author(s): Aleisha M Moore, Mel Prescott, Christopher J Marshall, Siew Hoong Yip, Rebecca E Campbell

Journal: Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 2015 Jan;112(2):596-601.

 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the leading cause of female infertility, is associated with an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse frequency, implicating abnormal steroid hormone feedback to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. This study investigated whether ...

Last Updated: 14 Jan 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 27 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

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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Definition and significance of polycystic ovarian morphology: a task force report from the Androgen Excess and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Society.
 

Author(s): Didier Dewailly, Marla E Lujan, Enrico Carmina, Marcelle I Cedars, Joop Laven, Robert J Norman, Héctor F Escobar-Morreale

Journal: Hum. Reprod. Update. ;20(3):334-52.

 

BACKGROUND The diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) relies on clinical, biological and morphological criteria. With the advent of ultrasonography, follicle excess has become the main aspect of polycystic ovarian morphology (PCOM). Since 2003, most investigators have used ...

Last Updated: 14 Apr 2014

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Polycystic ovarian syndrome.
 

Author(s): Nina Madnani, Kaleem Khan, Phulrenu Chauhan, Girish Parmar

Journal: Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. ;79(3):310-21.

 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a "multispeciality" disorder suspected in patients with irregular menses and clinical signs of hyperandrogenism such as acne, seborrhoea, hirsutism, irregular menses, infertility, and alopecia. Recently, PCOS has been associated with the metabolic ...

Last Updated: 26 Apr 2013

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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: 28 Jan 2015

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The Genetics of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

 

Last Updated: 5 Oct 2015

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