Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome ( P.C.O.S) also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a common complex endocrine (hormonal) disorder that affects women1.It is due to imbalances in the reproductive hormones. The exact cause of this is not known but research indicates a genetic association. PCOS was first described in 1935.
Between 4% and 20% of women of childbearing age (between 15 and 44) have PCOS There is no cure for this condition. Common symptoms include1:
- Irregular periods
- Enlarged ovaries
- Multiple cysts
- Difficulty ovulating
- Irregular hair growth and
Women with PCOS are at a high risk of 1:
- developing diabetes,
- being or becoming obese and
- developing cardiovascular disease.
It is quite diverse in its presentation with many women having cosmetic presentations like male pattern hair growth such as beards, chest hair, deep set side burns and moustaches due to elevated levels of androgens (male associated hormones), darkened skin in areas such as the back of the neck, under the arms and behind the knees (Acanthosis nigricans) and significant weight gain which could lead to obesity.
S.M. Sirmans and K.A .Pate (2013) Epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of polycystic ovary syndrome“ Clinical Epidemiology. 2014:6 1–13
Here are places you can find further information on the condition:
- PCOS Awareness Association
- National Health Service: Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Reproductive Facts – Topics: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Jean Hailes – PCOS
In 2018 . the following international guidelines for the evaluation and management of PCOS was released:
We seek to provide relevant and up to date information to allow those with PCOS to make informed decisions as it pertains to the condition. Whilst we provide these links and references to external resources, we have no control over what they produce on these third party sites and thus are not responsible for the content and cannot confirm the completeness of any of the information from any other site. Thus, we claim no liability for any damages or injuries of any kind arising from such content or information. Please remember to seek the expert opinion of a medical practitioner for medical advice.